Mom saw daughter raped in moving taxi

Lebogang Gift Mokoena pleaded guilty to a plethora of charges including rape and kidnapping.
Lebogang Gift Mokoena pleaded guilty to a plethora of charges including rape and kidnapping.
Image: Tankiso Makhetha

He raped one of his many victims in the presence of her mother after he robbed and kidnapped them with his Toyota Quantum using only a cigarette lighter.

Yesterday, Lebogang Gift Mokoena, a serial rapist who embarked on a 13-month reign of terror between September 2016 and October last year pleaded guilty in the South Gauteng High Court, sitting in the Palm Ridge magistrate's court.

He pleaded guilty to 13 counts of rape, nine of kidnapping, nine of robbery with aggravating circumstances, one of sexual assault, and nine of pointing an object that resembled a firearm

The 28-year-old was part of a gang of three men who kidnapped, raped and robbed female commuters across Gauteng in what was then known as the taxi rapes

Through his plea statement read into the record by his lawyer advocate Sabelo Nobangule, Mokoena told the court how he and his two accomplices raped a woman in the presence of her mother after they boarded their taxi on Main Reef Road in 2016.

"My friend was driving and I was seated in the passenger section. I accosted the pair with a cigarette lighter and searched their bags before taking their valuables," Mokoena said. He said they pulled over at an ATM and he withdrew R300 from the victim's bank account.

"I then returned to the taxi and raped the first complainant several times while the taxi was in motion. The second complainant who was also in the taxi was assaulted by one of my friends as she was attempting to fight while the rape was taking place."

Mokoena detailed seven other incidents in which he and his accomplices picked up female commuters, raped and robbed them.

He said these incidents occurred in Soweto, Booysens, Vosloorus, and Orange Farm.

He explained to the court how he forced his victims to perform oral sex on him while threatening them with a cigarette lighter that resembled a firearm before raping them without using a condom.

Mokoena pleaded for the court to show leniency during sentencing proceedings.

"I decided to plead guilty and take the court into my confidence and not waste its time. I am aware that my actions caused trauma to the victims which they will have to live with for the rest of their lives. I am pleading with the court to show leniency in handing down a sentence."

Judge Cassim Moosa postponed the matter until today for pre-sentencing purposes.

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