17 life sentences for serial rapist
A JOHANNESBURG judge has described a serial rapist as a violent, vicious and evil man who preyed on helpless young and old women at Avalon Cemetery.
A police psychologist, who the court decided should not be named, said had Jazzman Rikhotso not been apprehended he would have committed other, far serious crimes, including murder.
"I did not analyse him and my analysis is based on the court findings," the psychologist said. "The accused used violence, which was almost unnecessary. Rapists normally slap their victims or make verbal threats if they do not cooperate, but he used strangulation, which was a concern for me.
"That was a red flag that he could escalate into something lethal."
Judge Colin Lamont yesterday sentenced Rikhotso to 17 life terms in prison and over 100 more years for various crimes, including kidnapping, robbery, unlawful possession of a firearm and assault.
Rikhotso, of Pimville in Soweto, had been charged with 58 counts, and despite Lamont saying before sentencing he would not impose punishment out of anger and would also be "merciful towards you", he was given 18 life sentences.
Rikhotso, who worked as a security guard, pounced on his victims between 2008 and 2010 at Avalon Cemetery.
During his reign of terror he left one of his victims, a 67-year-old woman who had gone to visit her late husband's grave, paralysed with fear.
"She had not had sexual intercourse since her husband died. She revealed during her testimony how rough the accused had been. It was apparent during her testimony that she had been left traumatised. Some of the women suffered internal injuries and bleeding," Lamont said.
Rikhotso, said Lamont, was two-faced and used his charms to lure his victims to secluded areas where he would viciously rape them.
"The accused is extremely intelligent and charming and would use his personality during his crimes. The police did an excellent job and if they had not intervened, there is no doubt that he would have continued.
"You led a double life and there was a side of you that society at large and your family in particular knew, which was that of a kind and loving man.
"But you also had a darker side, which was hidden."
Rikhotso was also described as a religious man.
There was a collective gasp in court 2F when Lamont described how in one instance Rikhotso forced a child to watch as her helpless mother was being raped.
"He indiscriminately raped with no regard to age or virginity. A young child was forced to watch as her mother was raped, despite the mother trying to shield her from watching."
Another one of his victims was spared hours of anguish after Rikhotso, a father of children aged 3 and 11, told her that he didn't have his medication, presumably to pro-long his sexual drive.
"He raped two young girls simultaneously, and raped one of them after forcing her to lie on top of another. He told one that she was lucky that he didn't have his medication with him otherwise it would have taken longer. He was extremely savage at times," the judge said.
Rikhotso also left his victims, the youngest of whom was 12 years old, exposed to the risks of sexually transmitted diseases.
"He raped them anally and vaginally. He didn't use a condom and it is well-known in this country that if a condom is not used, chances of contracting diseases that could lead to death rise.
"Several women broke down and one could not even look at the accused," said Lamont.
Kidnapping - 30 years
Assault - Three years and six months
Indecent assault - Four years
Robbery - 78 years
Unlawful possession of a firearm - 20 years
Pointing a firearm - Three years