A MAN facing multiple charges including rape has apologised to his victims.
“I’d like to convey my apologies to the victims. I would also like to apologise to the court for what I did,” said Lebogang Mokoena in the South Gauteng High Court sitting in Palm Ridge yesterday.
Last month, the 28-year-old pleaded guilty to 13 counts of rape‚ nine of kidnapping‚ nine of robbery with aggravating circumstances‚ one of sexual assault and nine of pointing an object that looked like a firearm.
He said he knew that the victims may find it difficult to accept his apology, but he still wanted to ask forgiveness.
“I don’t know why I committed the crimes,” he said in a soft voice with his head down.
He claimed he was a good man until his mum died in 2016.
“When my mum died I came across a lot of problems,” he said without explaining further.
Lebogang called his cousin Themba Mokoena to testify in his mitigation of sentence.
Themba told the court that Lebogang used to pick him up in a taxi and they would drive around.
He said he was shocked when he heard he was bust for rape as he was an honest, good guy. He said Lebogang dropped out of school in grade 9.
“He spent most of his school hours washing taxis and later became a taxi driver,” said Themba.
Prosecutor Rolene Bester asked Lebogang if he would have stopped his reign of terror had he not been arrested.
Lebogang replied: “Yes, I was going to stop. I was already planning to stop at the time of my arrest.
“I was going to stay away from my friends because they were a bad influence.”
Lebogang’s reign of terror lasted between September 2016 and October last year.
He confessed to being part of a three-man gang which kidnapped‚ raped and robbed women commuters across Gauteng in what was then known as the Quantum taxi rapes.
He said the incidents occurred in Soweto‚ Booysens‚ Vosloorus and Orange Farm.
The case was postponed to Friday.