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Mpumalanga serial rapist sentenced to 37 years in prison

A Mpumalanga serial rapist has been sentenced to 37 years' imprisonment. File photo.
A Mpumalanga serial rapist has been sentenced to 37 years' imprisonment. File photo.
Image: 123RF/Stockstudio44

The Mkobola regional court in Kwaggafontein, Mpumalanga, has sentenced a taxi driver who committed a series of sexual crimes to 37 years' imprisonment.

Collen Mandla Ndala, 43, was found guilty on five counts.

He was sentenced to seven years' imprisonment for intention to cause grievous bodily harm, three years for attempted rape. On a count of kidnapping, he got five years. He received 25 years for rape and two years' imprisonment on a charge of compelled self-sexual assault.

Brig Leonard Hlathi, provincial police spokesperson, said the court heard how between December 2013 and January 2015 Ndala, who worked as a taxi driver, took advantage of his victims by targeting vulnerable and unsuspecting women who were hitchhiking at night.

“He would then offer them a lift, enquire about their destinations and after a short distance, would make an excuse that he needed to pass by his house first to switch on the lights to which his victims would agree.

“Ndala would then take a detour, drive to a secluded area and brutally rape his defenceless victims. The incident came to light when two victims aged 15 and 24 respectively, separately reported the matter to the police who immediately opened cases and commenced with investigations,” Hlathi said.

Ndala was arrested in 2015 and had remained in custody since.   

During the trial, he pleaded not guilty to all the charges. He told the court that the victims were his girlfriends and he never had sexual contact with the first one who was 15 years old at the time, but conceded sleeping with the second one who was 24 at the time.

The defence pleaded for leniency citing the fact that Ndala had been in custody since February 21 2015, which meant he had already partially served his sentence and had learnt his lesson.

The prosecution said a taxi driver should be someone with a good reputation and must  protect the lives of commuters making use of his services.

It added that Ndala had shown no sign of remorse or admitted that his actions were wrong.   

“Being sick, as the magistrate indicated, will not make the sentence lesser, because correctional facilities are more advanced and Ndala can attest to that as he received his treatment while being there for the past five years. Therefore the sentence should be befitting to the crimes that Ndala committed, despite his mitigating factors.

“He was also found to be unfit to work with children as stipulated in the Children's Act and unfit to possess a firearm as stipulated in the Firearms Control Act.” Hlathi said.