One of the men dubbed the “Alexandra balaclava serial rapists” on Wednesday pleaded guilty in the South Gauteng High Court to 53 charges, including rape, kidnapping, assault, sexual assault and robbery.
After Sija Mabitsela, 38, pleaded guilty, the court postponed the matter to Thursday for judgement and sentencing.
Mabitsela is one of two men dubbed the Alexandra balaclava serial rapists who are accused of a series of attacks in cemeteries and a filling station in Tsutsumani, Alexandra, north of Johannesburg.
Mabitsela pleaded guilty to the charges against him and admitted that he knew that his actions were against the law.
When court proceedings resumed on Wednesday, State prosecuter Michelle Bayat read out the charges that Mabitsela was facing to the court. He pleaded guilty to the charges.
Judge Ingrid Oppermann informed Mabitsela that there were a number of compulsory sentences applicable for the charges he was facing, which included rape, kidnapping, assault, sexual assault and robbery. The sentences range from 15 years to life imprisonment.
Members of the Women and Men Against Children Abuse organisation were present in court while Mabitsela stood in the dock covering his face with a cloth, before he was instructed to remove it by Judge Oppermann.
Mabitsela’s rape victims were aged between 13 and 38 years.
It is alleged that Mabitsela and his co-accused, Xaniseka Mukansi, 48, who is facing rape and robbery charges, operated as serial rapists preying on couples.
Mabitsela was reportedly a local sangoma and operated alone from 2007 until he was allegedly joined by his accomplice around 2014. Mukansi was a parolee at the time.
Mabitsela was arrested in 2015.
It is alleged the men used a gunshot signal after they had spotted their victims. They would allegedly attack couples, forcing them to have sex while they watched. They would then allegedly take turns raping the women, before robbing the victims.
Court adjourned to Thursday.
– African News Agency