Zacharia Mogale Selowa, 24, was sentenced on Friday to seven life sentences and 130 years for 12 counts of rape, five counts of robbery, and one of kidnapping, Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi said.
He committed the crimes while out on bail for a separate rape case.
“Selowa would lie and wait for students going home, threaten them with a knife and force them to the local cemetery before violently raping them and robbing them of their belongings,” Mulaudzi said.
Selowa was first arrested in March last year, for the rape of a 32-year-old woman. After he was released on bail, Selowa raped the 11 women, all students at the University of Limpopo, and the girl.
“One of the university students was kidnapped and raped repeatedly for a day before she managed to flee through a window of a disused house.”
After the students reported the attacks, police were granted an order from a local magistrate to acquire DNA from Selowa.
“The DNA evidence linked Selowa to the 12 rapes and his supremacy over vulnerable students was put to a dead end in October last year.”
Limpopo police commissioner Lt-Gen Sehlahle Masemola praised the police’s family violence, child protection and sexual offences unit for securing the conviction.
“The court could not have passed a more fitting sentence and this will certainly send out a strong message that crime does not pay,” Masemola said.
“We welcome the sentence and I am very pleased that a monster who preyed on defenceless women and a child has been removed from society.”