The Limpopo High Court sitting in Thohoyandou last Thursday sentenced 32-year-old Zimbabwe national, Tinashe Max Makisi Virima to ten life terms plus 159 years behind bars following his conviction on 26 charges including rape, robbery with aggravating circumstances, kidnapping, assault with intention to do grievously bodily harm and housebreakings last Thursday.
According to Limpopo Directorate of Public Prosecutions Regional Spokesperson Mashudu Malabi-Dzhangi the offences were committed in and around the Thohoyandou area between 2013 and 2015. Virima was part of a group of friends who ambushed their rape victims while sitting in parked vehicles or collecting firewood in the veld. Some of the victims were raped after their houses had been broken into, according to Malabi-Dzhangi.
She indicated that Virima had pleaded not guilty to all the charges and elected to remain silent. The State, represented by Zwodangani Mabodi, led the oral and DNA evidence. During the cross-examination of the state witnesses the accused’s version was that it was impossible for him to have committed the alleged offences because he was in Mhike Village of the Masvingo province in Zimbabwe during the time the offences occurred.
Mabodi strongly argued that the court should reject the alibi as some complainants had positively identified Virima as the perpetrator since he had not worn any face cover during the incidents.
He was also positively linked to the rape incidents via DNA testing, according to Malabi-Dzhangi.
Judge Jackson Mushasha agreed with the submissions by the State and found the accused guilty as charged where after he handed down the hefty sentence.
Story: RC Myburgh