Mpumalanga Police Commissioner, Lieutenant General Semakaleng Manamela, has welcomed the triple life sentence and 53 years handed down to a rapist and murderer in Mbombela.

Mfanasibili Cornelius Mnisi, aged 29, was sentenced by the Mpumalanga Division of the High Court in Mbombela on Thursday.

Mnisi is said to have terrorised defenceless women between December 2011 and November 2015.

Provincial police spokesperson, Colonel Donald Mdhluli, said: “The court heard how in December 2011, the accused took advantage of an 18-year-old woman after she lost contact with her friends at a certain tavern in Matsulu. Mnisi offered to take her home but detoured along the way and drove to his house with her and upon arrival, held her hostage and raped her at knifepoint.”

He said the matter was reported to the police in Matsulu, where a case was opened and the docket was assigned to the Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences Unit (FCS) in Kanyamazane for further investigation.

Mnisi preyed on another woman, aged 29, in October 2014.

Mdhluli said the woman was on her way to catch a bus to work in the morning when Mnisi offered to give her a lift to the bus stop.

“He instead took her to a secluded area where she was raped and strangled to death.

“The accused then dumped her body in a river thereafter. Her body was later recovered by a member of the public, who alerted the police and a case was opened. [An] investigation [was] instituted, where a manhunt was launched for the suspect,” he said.

In November 2015, the accused preyed on a 20-year-old woman when he invited her to visit him at Matsulu. Mnisi introduced the victim to one of his family members but later took her to a secluded area where he raped and strangled her until she was unconscious.

The accused thought that the woman was dead and as a result, dumped her in the Kruger National Park.

Mdhluli said the woman, however, later regained consciousness and found an opening in the fence where she got help from people at the nearby houses.

“Police were informed about the incident and a case was opened,” he said.

A team of detectives from the FCS Unit at Kanyamazane worked tirelessly to locate and arrest the suspect.

A breakthrough was made when they cornered Mnisi at Matsulu in November 2015, where he was charged accordingly.

Mnisi was given three life sentences on two counts of rape and on one count of murder. He was also sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment for another separate count of rape. He was further handed 15 years’ imprisonment for robbery, plus an extra 15 years for another separate robbery.

For defeating the ends of justice, the accused was sentenced to three years imprisonment. Meanwhile, he received 10 years imprisonment for a count of attempted murder.

The accused was also found to be unfit to possess a firearm and his name will be entered into the Register of Sexual Offenders. The Provincial Commissioner further indicated that the police are elated with the collaborative effort made by the investigating team, the prosecution and the judiciary.

Source: South African Government News Agency

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