Neo Clifford Mashilo, a 31-year-old man from Soshanguve, Gauteng, has been sentenced to five life terms of imprisonment and over 600 years of direct imprisonment for a series of heinous crimes, including rape, housebreaking, theft, and attempted murder. According to IOL, the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) announced that Mashilo’s conviction came after a trial in the Pretoria High Court.
Between 2016 and 2019, Mashilo struck terror into the Soshanguve community, employing a consistent modus operandi. He would break into homes, rob the occupants of their belongings, and commit sexual assault against female victims. His reign of terror extended to 17 households near block P in Soshanguve, with victims ranging from an 80-year-old woman to others whom he assaulted in the presence of their children.
His criminal spree culminated on July 13, 2019, when the police apprehended him for attempted murder. During his court appearance, Mashilo pleaded guilty to the charges brought against him and sought leniency due to his time in custody since his arrest. However, the State Prosecutor Advocate Thembile Nyakama presented victim impact statements from eight victims, detailing the profound emotional, mental, and financial impacts of Mashilo’s actions on their lives.
Nyakama argued that Mashilo demonstrated no remorse for his actions and did not extend any apologies to his victims through his attorney. The court concurred with the State’s assessment.
The sentencing handed down for the 45 charges included:
- Five life terms and 95 years of direct imprisonment for ten counts of rape.
- 260 years of direct imprisonment for 13 counts of robbery with aggravating circumstances.
- 255 years of indirect imprisonment for 17 counts of housebreaking.
- 10 years of direct imprisonment for attempted murder.
- 10 years of direct imprisonment for attempted robbery.
- 10 years of direct imprisonment for theft of a motor vehicle.
- 10 years of direct imprisonment for possession of an unlicensed semi-automatic firearm.
- One year of direct imprisonment for possession of ammunition.
In addition to these punitive measures, the judge ruled that Mashilo’s name must go on the National Register for Sexual Offenders. The Director of Public Prosecutions, Advocate Sibongile Mzinyathi, welcomed the sentence as a message that crimes against vulnerable individuals within society will not be tolerated.
Picture: Instagram / marie_louise_bronkhorst
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