THE Commission for Gender Equality in Limpopo is elated after serial rapist, Tshelani Risimati, received 10 life
sentences and additional 15 years in jail for attacking elderly women in Mutale, Limpopo.
Commission spokesperson, Jabu Baloyi, described the sentencing as satisfactory as it sends a strong message to local communities to refrain from sexual abuse of women and children.
“We welcome the judgement that was handed down on the perpetrator of the hideous crime because it will send a very strong message to society on the protection of elderly women. “The elderly could not continue to be subjected to horrific deeds by members of society. “We hope that the precedent will be maintained and that justice continues to prevail in the sentencing of sexual offenders,” Baloyi told African Times.
Risimati (35) unleashed a reign of terror over a period of three years from 2012.
Evidence presented in the Thohoyandou High Court showed that he targeted elderly women tending their crop fields.
He covered his face with a T-shirt and he would then tie his victims with a rope before raping them.
This made it difficult for the victims to identify him, but was linked to the crimes through DNA.
Some of the women testified that they were receiving antiretroviral drugs as they have tested HIV positive.
In sentencing Risimati, Judge Francis Kganyago described him as “a wolf who prayed on defenceless elderly women”.
Kganyago also found that the impact of his acts outweighed his personal circumstances.
The case again brought the scourge of rape in the country under the spotlight with Baloyi encouraging both men and
women to speak against sexual abuse.
Baloyi also said the commission has initiated community outreach programmes in which they educate communities to stand up against abuse.