“People like you don’t deserve to live in a society.”
These were the words of Judge Neliswa Mali on Tuesday when she handed down six life terms to Lehlohonolo Sipho Senamela, 27, after she found him guilty of, among other charges, committing nine counts of rape.
The Gauteng High Court in Pretoria heard how Senamela committed the nine rapes in the Kwaggafontein and KwaMhlanga areas of Mpumalanga between 2013 and 2016.
He would break into the houses of his victims while they were asleep and then rape them.
The court heard how Senamela, in some cases, committed these crimes while children were in the same room.
He would instruct the children to cover their heads and then rape the victim while his own face was covered in a balaclava.
His youngest victim was 12 years old and the oldest was 41.
Senamela was arrested shortly after he raped his last victim in December 2016 and then stole her cellphone.
The police followed the cellphone signal and tracked him down in Johannesburg, where he was arrested.
Senamela, who has been in custody since his arrest, this week pleaded guilty to 24 charges – including nine rapes, seven cases of robbery with aggravating circumstances and two cases of theft.
Mali described Senamela as selfish and a coward who had no regard for his victims.
He was handed a sentence of 246 years, which included six life terms.