A man was sentenced to more than 250 years' imprisonment and four life sentences in the Limpopo High Court in Polokwane on Wednesday after being found guilty on 31 charges including rape and attempted murder.
David Mamvura, 27, was sentenced to 259 years plus four life sentences after being found guilty of 31 charges of rape, attempted murder, assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm, housebreaking and robbery with aggravating circumstances.
His reign of terror in Polokwane lasted from 2012 until 2014.
Provincial police spokesperson Colonel Moatshe Ngoepe said his first victim was a 24-year-old woman who was raped at her home in August 2012.
"[She] was raped at her home by the accused and her husband was hit with a hammer on the head and sustained serious head injuries that left him paralysed," Ngoepe said.
In that case, Mamvura allegedly stole cellphones and R1 000 in cash.
'Criminals must know we are coming for them'
Ngoepe said in 2013 Mamvura attacked a 74-year-old woman and raped her in her home. Mamvura fled with a cellphone, wedding ring and bank cards.
"The police were notified, traced him until he was apprehended and [he] was later released on bail," Ngoepe said.
While out on bail, Mamvura continued with his "heinous acts" and raped a 15-year-old girl in March 2013.
"He gained entry through the window to the victim's room, threatened her with a knife and took cellular phones and disappeared," Ngoepe said.
He said Mamvura struck again in 2014, when he raped a 41-year-old woman twice while she was on her way to work.
Provincial police commissioner Lieutenant General Nneke Jim Ledwaba welcomed the lengthy prison sentence and sent a warning to other criminals in the province.
"All those criminals out there who are still perpetrating these crimes must know that we are coming for them. They are going to be dealt with mercilessly and without compromise," Ledwaba said.