The Emalahleni Regional Court has sentenced 26-year-old Phillip Jacob Ngwenya from Phola to 30 years imprisonment for raping three women.
The rapes took place in Phola and around Witbank in 2018.
Ngwenya pleaded guilty to raping the three women, aged between 20 and 35 years.
His modus operandi was to target women who were walking alone on the streets at night.
He would drag them to nearby bushes and rape them. He sometimes robbed them of their belongings, such as cellphones and cash.
But none of the women could successfully identify the perpetrator until he was found in possession of one of his victim’s cellphones in December 2019.
Ngwenya has also been linked to other crimes through DNA.
In aggravation of sentence, state prosecutor Maureen Nkosi led evidence from the women about the physical and emotional trauma they had experienced due to the rapes.
Nkosi told the court it would be in the best interest of justice for Ngwenya to be removed from society and sentenced to a long term of direct imprisonment.
Magistrate Marlene Greyvenstein sentenced Ngwenya to 10 years imprisonment on count one, 20 years on count two and another 15 years on count three.
The court ordered the sentence in count two to run concurrently with the other sentences – which amounts to 30 years direct imprisonment.
The court further ordered Ngwenya’s name to be entered into the National Register for Sex Offenders.
The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) has welcomed the conviction and sentence.