DAILYKENN.com -- Takalani Mphephu, Maxwell Mpofu and Irvin Mkhabela will spend the rest of their lives in a South African prison.
The three were found guilty of committing rape, robbery, and murder. The crime spree began in 2009 and ended with their last known attack in 2011.
The sentencing was reported April 13, 2016.
The crimes occurred in Randburg and Linden near Johannesburg, two of the few majority white neighborhoods in the nation.
Stabbing a Tactical Response Team member and threatening court officials and journalists has not helped serial gang-rapist Takalani Mphephu, who was on Monday sentenced to an effective life imprisonment.
His co-accused, Maxwell Mpofu and Irvin Mkhabela, sat and watched as Mphephu often berated presiding Judge Louis Vorster and tried to walk out of the Palm Ridge courtroom during the judgment proceedings on Friday.
The trio were convicted of breaking into homes across Randburg and Linden, robbing people and gang-raping the female residents in multiple incidents between 2009 and 2011.
But the trial was delayed several times by Mphephu, whose violent antics brought him to the attention of the media.
At an appearance in August last year, Mphephu threatened a Star team after they were given permission to take pictures in another case.
“I swear on my dead mother’s grave that if you take any pictures of me I will jump over here and strangle you,” he told the photographer. That same day, Mphephu head-butted and spat at a police officer and swore at everyone in the courtroom, including Judge Vorster.
Correctional Services officials had to forcibly remove him from the court, but when he was brought back, he stabbed a Tactical Response Team member above the eye with a pen.
In February, another Star photojournalist was reporting on another case in the same courtroom, prompting the 36-year-old’s hyper-aggression yet again. Without any provocation, Mphephu began swearing at journalists from The Star.
“If you take a photo I will f*** you up,” he said over and over again. When he was informed that the journalist was reporting on another matter, it made no difference as he continued with his tirade and threats.
All three rapists were handed lengthy prison sentences on Monday. Mphephu and Mpofu were each given three life sentences for the three rape counts, while Mkhabela was only convicted and sentenced to two life sentences for two of them.
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