Neo Clifford Mashilo, a 31-year-old resident of Soshanguve, has been sentenced to five life terms and a total of 651 years in direct imprisonment for committing a series of horrific crimes between 2016 and 2019. His charges include rape, robbery, attempted murder, theft of a vehicle, and other offences.
Mashilo’s arrest on July 13, 2019, in Hammanskraal followed a case of attempted murder that had been opened against him. Recently, he was sentenced in the Pretoria High Court for a total of 45 charges.
Lumka Mahanjana, spokesperson for the NPA Gauteng, revealed that during these three years, Mashilo would break into homes, rob the occupants of their belongings, and commit sexual assaults against women. His crime spree was concentrated around block P in Soshanguve, where he terrorised 17 households.
Tragically, some of his victims were raped in the presence of their own children, and one of the survivors was an 80-year-old woman.
Mashilo’s sentencing breakdown includes:
- Five life terms and 95 years for 10 counts of rape
- 260 years for 13 counts of robbery with aggravating circumstances
- 255 years for 17 counts of housebreaking
- 10 years for attempted murder
- 10 years for attempted robbery
- 10 years for theft of a motor vehicle
- 10 years for possession of an unlicensed semi-automatic firearm
- One year for possession of ammunition.
In addition to these severe penalties, the judge ordered that Mashilo’s name be added to the national register for sexual offenders.
Although Mashilo pleaded guilty to the charges against him and argued for a deviation from the prescribed minimum sentence due to his time in custody since his arrest, the prosecutor, Advocate Thembile Nyakama, presented eight victim impact statements as aggravating factors. These statements detailed the emotional, mental, and financial impact on the victims.
Nyakama emphasised that despite Mashilo’s guilty plea, he showed no remorse as he did not apologise to the victims. She argued that there were no substantial and compelling circumstances to justify a departure from the prescribed sentences.
The sentencing judge concurred with the state, highlighting Mashilo’s lack of remorse and failure to comprehend the gravity of his actions. Mashilo’s betrayal of trust, particularly with victims who knew him, further exacerbated the severity of his crimes.
Advocate Sibongile Mzinyathi, the director of public prosecution, welcomed the sentencing, expressing hope that it would convey a clear message that society will not tolerate crimes against vulnerable groups.
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Photo: Supplied by Rekord