Pretoria - The Ministry for Women, Children and Persons with Disabilities has welcomed the heavy sentence handed down to serial rapist and murderer David Randitsheni by the Modimolle Circuit Court in Limpopo.
"The Ministry is encouraged by the heavy sentences that South African courts are imposing on rapists and murderers who terrorise women and girl children," the department said on Wednesday.
Mr Randitsheni was sentenced on Tuesday to 16 life sentences, plus 220 years imprisonment for 10 counts of murder, 17 rapes and 18 counts of kidnapping, committed between 2004 and 2008.
Handing down the sentence, Judge Roger Claassen stipulated that Mr Randitshene could not be considered for parole for the next 35 years, noting that at that time he would be 80 years old.
Minister for Women, Children and Persons with Disabilities,Noluthando Mayende-Sibiya said on Wednesday that such a sentence should send a strong message to all those who may be involved in the incidents of rape and sexual assault that there are severe consequences for inflicting pain on women.
"Our criminal justice system is responding to the challenges of crime in the country and this government is even more committed to address cases of rape and sexual violence against women and children," Minister Mayende-Sibiya said.
She further thanked the investigating and prosecution teams for the hard work that led to the arrest and speedy prosecution and conviction of Randitsheni on all the charges.
Randitshene was convicted on all charges and got 10 life sentences on 10 counts of murder, 16 life sentences on 16 counts of rape, 20 years imprisonment on one count of rape, 20 years imprisonment on one count of indecent assault and for 18 counts of kidnapping he was sentenced to 180 imprisonment, 10 years for each count.
He was arrested on 16 May 2008, after an intensive police investigation during which over 550 DNA samples were tested before a police forensic expert identified the suspect.
Of all his 19 victims, only one was an adult female with all the others being young girls. All the victims were kidnapped and raped and 10 were murdered in a crime spree which devastated the community of Modimolle.