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A 34-year-old Zimbabwean man has been jailed for three life sentences and an additional 226 years’ imprisonment by the Pretoria High Court after he was convicted for 26 counts during a crime spree.

The crimes include rape, murder, illegal migration, kidnapping, house breaking, escaping from jail, unlawful possession or a fire arm and ammunition and robbery.

National Prosecution Authority (NPA) Pretoria spokesperson, Lumka Mahanjana, said Leonard Lemmy Chauke was arrested after escaping from jail in 2020.

He had been serving a 15-year jail term for house breaking and robbery.

“Leonard Lemmy Chauke (34), from Olievenhoutbosch, an illegal Zimbabwean migrant has been sentenced by the Pretoria High Court to three life terms for two counts of rape and murder,” she said.

“He was also sentenced to 80 years’ direct imprisonment, for four counts of robbery with aggravating circumstances, 90 years’ direct imprisonment for six counts of unlawful possession of a firearm, 15 years’ direct imprisonment, for five counts of housebreaking, 15 years’ direct imprisonment for three counts of kidnapping.

“In addition he will serve 10 years’ direct imprisonment for rape, 12 years’ direct imprisonment for four counts of unlawful possession of ammunition, two years’ direct imprisonment for escaping from custody and two years’ direct imprisonment for being illegal in the country.”

Mahanjana said Chauke was meant to serve a 15-year sentence at Kgosi Maphuru Correctional Services, for housebreaking and robbery with aggravating circumstances, when he escaped in December 2020, only after two months of his sentence.

She said after his escape, Chauke and his accomplices committed crimes in and around Olievenhoutbosch and Wierda Park, where they used the same modus operandi.

“The man and his team would break into the complainants’ houses, robbing them of their belongings and taking the female victims to the nearby veld and gang rape them,” Mahanjana said.

“The youngest of his victims was a 17-year-old girl, on June 7, 2022, Chauke and his accomplice shot and killed a 35-year-old man at a squatter camp in Olievenhoutbosch.

“Chauke was then arrested two days later after a witness to the murder pointed him out to the police and has been in custody since.”

In court, Chauke pleaded guilty to the charges preferred against him and told the court that he committed the offences while under the influence of drugs.

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