Lazarus Petros Mnguni had his tongue bitten off by a woman he was raping two years ago.
Yesterday, the Pretoria magistrate's court sentenced the 33-year-old Mnguni to two life terms and 10 years in prison.
He was convicted last Wednesday on three counts of raping a 30-year-old Marabastad woman. The sentences will run concurrently.
Mnguni dragged the woman into the bush in Marabastad, Pretoria, and repeatedly raped her. He raped her twice, and on the third occasion, he decided to kiss her.
He put his tongue into her mouth . and she bit it off.
He ran away in pain, leaving part of his tongue in his victim's mouth.
The woman took the tongue to the Marabastad police station where she reported the matter. Police said a country-wide alert to police stations, hospitals and private doctors was made to lookout of a man whose tongue was severed.
The tongue was kept at the government mortuary.
A week after the incident, staff at Groblersdal Hospital in Limpopo contacted police when Mnguni went there for treatment.
He was then arrested.
After sentence yesterday, Mnguni spat at this reporter when asked if he knew where his tongue was. He stopped as he was being led away, turned, and spat. The saliva did not go far because of the missing tongue.
In mitigation of sentence, Mnguni's lawyer had told the court that when the incident happened, Mnguni was under the influence of substances which may have affected his ability to judge properly.
But, the state argued that Mnguni was not a first-time offender.
He was convicted of being in possession of dagga two years ago. Another case - of assault - was withdrawn against him.
Mnguni was also convicted of murder in 1996 and was detained as a state mental patient at Weskoppies Hospital in Pretoria.
Passing sentence, Magistrate Adriaan Bekker said Mnguni had shown no remorse for his actions and kept denying that he had raped the woman.
He said Mnguni destroyed the woman's dignity. Magistrate Bekker said the fact that Mnguni was under the influence of drugs when he raped the woman was not an excuse for committing such a serious offence, especially in a country with a high rate of violence against women and children.
"The courts have a duty to protect the community against barbaric people like you. This sentence will serve as a warning to other criminals out there, and there is no reason for the court to sentence you outside the prescribed sentence fit for the crime you have committed," said Bekker.
A medical report submitted by Mnguni's victim stated that she had a swollen neck and bruises on her body.