Heavy sentence for serial rapist who preyed on women and girls for years

A man who raped several women and children, the youngest aged 14, was sentenced to 12 life sentences and an additional 75 years.

A man who raped several women and children, the youngest aged 14, was sentenced to 12 life sentences and an additional 75 years.

Published Jun 12, 2024


Durban — A serial rapist who terrorised women and children for almost 10 years, was handed a heavy prison sentence on Monday.

Work by the KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences Unit and KZN National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) resulted in the Mtubatuba High Court sentencing Bhekithemba Fanozi Nxumalo, 42, to 12 life sentences and an additional 75 years.

KZN police spokesperson Colonel Robert Netshiunda said Nxumalo’s sentence was handed down on Monday, June 10.

Netshiunda explained that Nxumalo’s reign of terror started in July 2012 when he broke into a house at Mdungandlovu Reserve around midnight and found an elderly woman sleeping with her two granddaughters. He demanded money from the granny at knifepoint and when he could not find any, he raped her 24-year-old granddaughter. The granny and a younger granddaughter were saved by the same 24-year-old who managed to send a call back to her brother who came to their rescue. Nxumalo managed to escape.

Nxumalo continued his rape spree, targeting young women walking alone. He would drag them into the bushes and sugar cane fields and threaten them with a knife before raping them. In most cases, Nxumalo would rape his victims more than once.

“His 10-year raping spree was brought to an abrupt end when police cornered and arrested him in April 2021. Nxumalo’s application for leave to appeal was refused and he was also declared unfit to possess a firearm,” Netshiunda said.

KZN NPA spokesperson Natasha Ramkisson-Kara said Nxumalo pleaded guilty to housebreaking with intent to rape and 17 counts of rape he committed between July 2012 and April 2021.

“The offences were committed in various areas within the King Cetshwayo District, where Nxumalo preyed on several females, with the youngest being 14 years old,” Ramkisson-Kara said.

She said in one instance, he broke into the home of the complainants and raped them, while other complainants were accosted on their way home, or either on their way to or from school. Nxumalo, who was unknown to all the complainants, used a weapon to threaten them and raped some of them more than once.

Ramkisson-Kara said the complainants were taken to the Ngwelezane Thuthuzela Care Centre for the necessary support.

“Nxumalo was eventually arrested after the last complainant was able to describe him to members of the community. They conducted a search and when they apprehended Nxumalo, they handed him over to the police. The complainant then identified him as her attacker. Nxumalo was also positively linked to the offences by DNA evidence,” Ramkisson-Kara explained.

She said that in aggravation of the sentence, advocate Eric Xolani Sindane handed in victim impact statements compiled by some of the complainants. All of them said that they were left psychologically traumatised following the incident and were now terrified of being alone. They also mentioned having flashbacks and experiencing sleepless nights. Some complainants said they did not return to school following the incident as they were afraid.

“Nxumalo will serve an effective term of life imprisonment. In addition, the court deemed him unfit to possess a firearm and his application for leave to appeal was refused,” Ramkisson-Kara said.

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