A serial rapist from Bushbuckridge in Mpumalanga will spend the next 154 years behind bars following a reign of terror that lasted several years. He was also handed three life terms by the Mpumalanga High Court in Nelspruit last week.
In one of the incidents in 2017, Collen Fakude found one of his victims waiting for a taxi with her boyfriend at Ramalema near Bushbuckridge, where he threatened them with a firearm, said police spokesperson Colonel Donald Mdhluli.
He then forced them to nearby bushes, where he raped the woman in front of her boyfriend. He then took all their belongings and fled the scene. Cases of rape and armed robbery were opened.
In another incident in 2017 also at Ramalema, he found a woman waiting for a taxi with her boyfriend. He threatened them with a firearm and forced them to nearby bushes, where he raped the woman, again while her boyfriend was watching. He then took all their belongings and fled the scene. Again, cases of rape and armed robbery were opened.
In February 2018, Fakude preyed on a woman who was driving between Bushbuckridge and Graskop. She saw a half-naked woman on the roadside near Injaka Dam in Bushbuckridge and stopped to assist her. While trying to figure out what was going on, Fakude suddenly appeared, pointed a firearm at her and forced her to drive to nearby bushes, where he raped her. Fakude then robbed her of all her belongings and fled the scene.
In April 2018, he attacked a woman who was with her brother. He held them hostage at Gardee Junction next to the Injaka Dam, forced them to nearby bushes and raped the woman in front of her brother. Like his other victims, Fakude robbed them of their belongings before fleeing the scene.
In October 2018, he attacked a woman who was with her boyfriend at Hlamalani Trust in Bushbuckridge. He pointed a firearm at them, forced them to drive to the nearest bushes and raped the woman in front of her boyfriend.
Mdhluli said police investigated all the cases and found that Fakude was arrested, convicted and sentenced to 27 years’ imprisonment in 2003 by the Mhala Regional Court for rape, robbery and the possession of an unlicensed firearm. He was released on parole in 2013.
Through forensic evidence, Fakude was linked to the Bushbuckridge cases and arrested in September 2019.
In addition to the latest sentences, Fakude will complete his initial 27-year prison sentence until 2029 as his parole has been revoked. He will consequently spend 154 years behind bars. The three life sentences will run concurrently with the 154-year sentence.