Former student raped 39 people in three provinces

FILE PHOTO: Wits students hold a silent protest against rape in this file picture last year.
FILE PHOTO: Wits students hold a silent protest against rape in this file picture last year.
Image: ALON SKUY

A former student at the University of Fort Hare has emerged as one of the country’s worst serial rapists after pleading guilty to 39 rapes in three provinces.

Lonwabo Solontsi‚ 28‚ was linked to all the cases by DNA evidence.

In several of the cases‚ he told the women to count to 100 before covering their faces with an item of clothing and fleeing‚ the Daily Dispatch reported on Friday.

Solontsi pleaded guilty in the Grahamstown High Court on Thursday to his reign of terror that lasted five years‚ across the Eastern Cape‚ Western Cape and North West Province.

He pleaded guilty to 26 additional charges‚ including housebreaking with intent to rob and rape and robbery with aggravating circumstances.

TimesLIVE reported last week that his victims included women‚ teenagers and children‚ aged from 11 to 46.

The rapes were committed in far-flung towns and cities throughout the Eastern Cape‚ including Alice‚ Bathurst‚ Dutywa and Willowvale. Some of the other rapes were committed as far away as Stellenbosch in the Western Cape and Rustenberg in the North West.

He terrorised the Alice campus of Fort Hare University between 2012 and 2013.

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