A 29-year-old serial rapist from Nyanga who used a taxi to source his victims will most likely spend the rest of his life in prison.
The Western Cape high court on Tuesday sentenced him to a life sentence and a further 210 years behind bars following his conviction on six counts of rape, a count of sexual assault, eight counts of kidnapping and eight counts of robbery with aggravating circumstances.
He was handed two life sentences for rape, 15 years imprisonment for each of the eight robberies with aggravating circumstances, 10 years on four counts of rape, five years on eight counts of kidnapping and 10 years imprisonment for sexual assault. The sentences would run concurrently.
“The prosecutor, advocate Louise Freister, told the court Thobile Dyonase was employed as a taxi driver in Nyanga. From August 12 2017 to October 2 2017, he drove around the Tableview and Parklands areas and targeted women walking alone in the dark on their way to catch public transport to work,” said National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) spokesperson Eric Ntabazalila.
“He would hoot for the women, as taxi drivers usually do to get the attention of passengers. He would charmingly speak to the passenger once she entered the taxi. He would tell her he needed to take a different route to avoid traffic,” he said.
Once away from the usual routes, Dyonase would turn on his victim, accusing her of boarding the wrong taxi, demand her cellphones, money and bank cards. He then raped six women in this fashion.
“One of the victims begged him not to rape her in front of her son,” Ntabazilala said.
The prosecution had pleaded with the court to not be lenient on Dyonase, arguing that he had carefully plotted and executed his attacks. He would leave his victims stranded on the side of a road.
His victims had been left traumatised by their ordeals. In their statements, some victims detailed how they now struggle to trust men and suffer from anxiety.
“One victim told the court she ran whenever she saw a man, would jump out of a moving vehicle once the driver locks the doors, and would jump whenever a strange man looked at or greeted her,” said Ntabazalila.
Dyonase had pleaded not guilty to the more than 20 charges against him.
Western Cape provincial police commissioner, Lieutenant General Yolisa Matakata welcomed his conviction.
“Cape Town communities, particularly women, will be safer with the accused serving a lengthy sentence," she said.