South African serial rapist Thembinkosi Ngcolomba, 44, was sentenced in the High Court in Gqeberha on Wednesday after he was found guilty of raping nine women between 2016 and 2018.
He used social media to lure women, aged 15 to 31, the court heard. He then raped them, some twice, said police spokesperson Colonel Priscilla Naidu.
“Ngcolomba picked his prey by befriending them on Facebook, which eventually resulted in a personal meeting. He profiled himself on Facebook as a famous local soccer star, and after gaining the attention of the victims, he arranged for them to meet him in NU 29 in Motherwell, the area in which he also resided,” said Naidu.
In all the cases, he chose the same meeting spot. When he met his victims, he told them he was the uncle of the soccer star and he had been sent to fetch them.
“While walking, he would produce a screwdriver or a knife, threaten them and rape them in an open field between NU 13 and NU 29. In six cases, he robbed his victims of their cellphones and cash,” said Naidu.
Ngcolomba was arrested in 2018 when, with the assistance of his last victim’s family, police set up a meeting, purportedly with a new woman.
In addition to the six life terms, he was sentenced to five sentences of 20 years for rape and six sentences of 15 years for robbery. These sentences will run concurrently.
Acting Eastern Cape police commissioner Major General Zithulele Dladla said the sentences were “a victory for all the victims”.
“Lengthy jail sentences such as this bring hope to all victims that justice prevails and that the cycle of violence against women and children can and must be broken. The investigating officer is highly commended for ensuring that Ngcolomba never sees the outside of a prison cell for as long as he lives,” said Dladla.