Byline: Refeloe Letsoisa

13 September 2023

On Tuesday, 12 September 2023, The Mpumalanga Division of the High Court convicted and sentenced Facebook serial rapist from the Kingdom of Eswatini to two life terms and additional 124 years imprisonment for multiple counts of rape he committed in Matsulu and Kaapmuiden during the period April 2020 – August 2021.

Mcolisi Mthombothi (27), was convicted on 12 counts of rape, four counts of robbery with aggravating circumstances, two counts of extortion, an attempt to commit a sexual offence, and three counts of assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm. The accused was further charged with contravention of the Immigration Act.

On other times, he met his victims on Facebook, while meeting some of them at random.

He would create bogus Facebook pages with fictitious names and pictures, start romantic relationships with some of the victims, occasionally offer them jobs, and occasionally demand money be deposited into his account.

He would occasionally suggest that they meet with him in person. When he arrived, he would drag his prey to a nearby bush where he would rape them and steal their possessions.

After a community-wide awareness campaign by the local police warning people about a man who was committing sexual assaults in the region, the alleged reign of terror came to an end in 2022.

The suspect was detained during the inquiry and was identified during an identification parade.

The accused was conclusively connected through DNA.

The accused said before the court during a plea and sentence agreement that he had agreed into that his rape spree had started because he had no place to stay and had turned to robberies to pay for the rental where he was staying.

State Attorney Zwelethu Mata addressed the court regarding the nature and seriousness of the charges the accused has committed.

He claimed that the accused preyed on the emotions of women and attacked them when they were alone at night, further increasing their vulnerability.

Judge Kgama Shai, sentenced the accused accordingly.

The court ordered the accused’s name to be entered into the National Register for Sexual Offenders and was further declared unfit to possess a firearm.

The court ordered some of the sentences to run concurrently, the effective sentence being life.

The National Prosecuting Authority welcomes the sentence imposed on the accused and further warns the public to be cautious when using social media platforms especially when they decide to meet up with their new friends.