Man gets life behind bars for Soweto church rape

A Mozambican man has been sentenced to an effective life term plus 75 years for raping and robbing five women in a Soweto church.

Protea Regional Court Magistrate Audrey Mpofu on Wednesday found Hileo Adriano Mhlanga‚ 31‚ guilty on two counts of rape‚ five of kidnapping‚ five of armed robbery and three of attempted rape.

Mhlanga had maintained that he only committed one offence‚ rape‚ and denied the others.

“You and your friends were brutal that night. You are cowards because men are expected to protect us as women not to harm us. You held women at ransom. In fact you held five helpless women against their will with a gun hurting them‚” Mpofu said.

On November 8‚ 2014 in Meadowlands‚ Soweto‚ Mhlanga and his two male friends pounced on one of the victims who was in a toilet.

The five women were having a night prayer service at the Methodist Church when one decided to visit a bathroom.

There she was held at gunpoint‚ assaulted and taken to a mobile container by Mhlanga and his co-accused. She was then forced to lie on the ground and raped twice by Mhlanga’s accomplice before he took turns raping her twice.

The victim was taken back to the church‚ with a gun and knife pointed at her. Inside the church‚ the men began assaulting the four other women.

– TMG Digital/Sowetan

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