News / South Africa

Ilse de Lange
2 minute read
10 Nov 2017
1:52 pm

Serial rapist, killer now serving 11 life terms

Ilse de Lange

Charles Mthethwa has been sentenced to five life terms and more than 200 years' imprisonment on a charge of murder.

Serial rapist Charles Mthethwa. Picture: Ilse de Lange.

A 35-year-old Zimbabwean man who is already serving six life terms for raping a series of woman and murdering one of his victims was yesterday sentenced in the High Court in Pretoria to a further five life terms for rape and murder.

Acting Judge Jonas Mosopo sentenced Charles Mthethwa of Tembisa to five life terms and more than 200 years’ imprisonment on a charge of murder, 10 of rape, eight of kidnapping and five of robbery with aggravating circumstances.

Mthethwa, who was linked to all of the rapes and the May 2014 murder of Wizzie Chimalimo, 38, through DNA evidence, pleaded guilty to all of the charges, but never explained what had motivated him to commit the crimes.

Chimalimo’s half-naked body was discovered in the bushes at Hennopsrivier hours after she failed to arrive at work. She had been gagged and manually strangled to death.

Mthethwa was in June this year sentenced in the High Court sitting in Thohoyandou to six life terms for a series of rapes and the murder of a policeman’s wife.

Mthethwa was caught by the community and taken to the police station, where one of his victims who was reporting the crime to the police recognised him. He was subsequently linked through his DNA to numerous rapes in the Pretoria and Thohoyandou areas.

The HIV-positive Mthethwa, who is married and is the father of two children, had preyed on women walking alone.

He threatened his victims with a knife or throttled them and then dragged them to secluded places where he raped and robbed them of their personal possessions.

One of his victims was only 14 years old when Mthethwa dragged her into the veld where he brutally raped her. She was now afraid of all men and had suicidal tendencies.

Judge Mosopo said Mthethwa’s actions had robbed the young girl of her childhood and left her empty, broken and with bad memories.

Another victim was pregnant when she was raped, and he pretended to pray with another woman before throttling her until she passed out and raping her.

Judge Mosopo said it was clear from the victim impact reports that the lives of Mthethwa’s victims would never be the same. They could no longer trust people, some were afraid to walk alone or go to public places and one of them was now afraid to go to church.

The judge said rape had become pandemic in our country and it seems that government was fighting a losing battle to curb violence against women and children.

He said there was a great possibility that other accomplices were still committing these heinous crimes as Mthethwa had not acted alone in some of the cases, but refused to identify the others.

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