A 25-year-old man from the Winnie Mandela informal settlement in Tembisa, Gauteng, was given 25 life terms for sexual assault and attempted assault by the South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg.
Shadrack Xidada Chauke was also given 254 years for multiple counts of attempted murder, assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, robbery and kidnapping.
National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Phindi Mjonodwane said in a statement on Tuesday that Chauke approached his victims with a knife or a screwdriver on their way to work.
He would also approach them while they were walking with their partners, she said.
“He would hit their male companions with a brick so that they lose consciousness. Chauke would then take the women to the nearby bushes and defile them.
“Some of the victims were attacked in their homes where he would make forced entries, rob the complainants of their belongings and thereafter proceed to defile them.”
Chauke was arrested after police traced the location of a phone belonging to one of his victims.
“These crimes were dehumanising in that some of the victims were compelled to watch each other’s rape as Chauke would sometimes take turns on more than one women, in full view of the other,” Mjonodwane said.
“The State asked the court not to deviate from imposing the prescribed sentence of life imprisonment as it was convinced that there were no substantial and compelling circumstances present justifying such departure.”