Whatever happens to me now, I ask that my children be taken care of. I love them very much and I cry every time I think about them because they have no home and no one to look after them, now that I'm in prison.
These were the words of the country's worst serial rapist Mongezi Jingxela when he took the stand in mitigation of sentence at the Johannesburg high court yesterday.
Jingxela has two children, a daughter and a son aged 17 and 20 respectively.
He has been convicted of 219 counts, as opposed to the 220 announced in court last week. His convictions include 60 of rape and numerous others for kidnap, robbery and assault.
Yesterday, Jingxela asked Judge George Maluleke for a postponement, saying he wanted his siblings from the Eastern Cape and Western Cape to be present when he is sentenced. His request was denied.
He then took to the witness stand and flatly denied that he has ever raped the women.
"I'm not a rapist. I sympathise with these women who say they were raped, only I wasn't the one who raped them," he said.
Jingxela made a plea to women never to abuse men by falsely accusing them of rape in order to get back at them.
"I also want to tell all parents to learn to control their children. If you send your child to school, and the next thing she comes back to you and says she has been raped, at a time when she was supposed to have been at school, that means she does not obey you," he said.
He further said that had he been rich, he would not have been in his current situation. He also accused the Legal Aid Board of supplying him with a "weak lawyer".
Jingxela embarked on a raping spree starting in 1994.
He operated in areas in and around Johannesburg. He would lure women by promising them jobs and later offering to accompany them to their new places of work. He would however lead them to a deserted area where he would rape them and sometimes rob them of their belongings afterwards.
His spree ended in 2004 when he was arrested.
The state is proposing that he be sentenced to more than 60 life sentences.
Jingxela is to be sentenced today.