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Serial rapist jailed for ‘indeterminate period’

Rape.
Rape.
Image: 123RF Stock Image/ lculig

Lonwabo Solontsi‚ one of South Africa’s worst serial rapists in recorded history‚ was on Friday declared a dangerous criminal and jailed for an “indeterminate period”.

The 29-year-old will be 54 before he is allowed to approach the court again for reconsideration of his sentence. And when it reconsiders his sentence in 25 years’ time‚ that court must take into consideration that a panel of psychiatrists deemed Solontsi to be a “pervasive and non-remedial psychopath with a high risk of violent re-offending behaviour”.

If he had not been sentenced to an indeterminate period in jail as a dangerous criminal‚ Judge Thamie Beshe indicated she would have had no qualms in sentencing him to 12 life terms plus 706 years for 39 rapes‚ seven counts of robbery‚ 14 counts of robbery with aggravating circumstances‚ 12 counts of housebreaking with intent to rape and three with intent to rape and rob.

It is unusual for a court to resort to declaring someone a dangerous criminal in terms of the Criminal Procedure Act. It can only happen in cases where the court is convinced that society needs to be protected from the criminal. The court‚ rather than the parole board‚ will be the arbiter over any future chance of the criminal being released.

The law stipulates that once a court has sentenced a person to an indeterminate period‚ it should then determine when the matter be brought before the court for reconsideration.

Beshe said Solontsi would have faced life in jail and would therefore have only been eligible for parole after 25 years. Similarly‚ Solontsi should not be brought before court again for reconsideration of his sentence before the same amount of time had expired.

Solontsi‚ who is already serving time in jail for two other rapes‚ raped 41 women‚ teenagers and a child over five years.

A seemingly unrepentant Solontsi smirked whenever Beshe referred to his victims and raised his middle finger at the media.

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