Serial rapist Sandiso Vani was sentenced to six life terms for raping three teenage girls and three women between 2015 and 2018 in the villages of Butterworth.

Vani is currently serving 15 years for an unrelated murder. He pleaded guilty at the Mthatha High Court to six counts of rape.

He was sentenced to life imprisonment for each.

The court sentenced him to a further five years on each of the three counts of housebreaking with intent to commit an offence and 15 years for robbery with aggravating circumstances.

According to NPA spokesman Luxolo Tyali, the court ordered the latter sentences to run concurrently with the life imprisonment terms.

Vani’s raping spree started on 1 March 2015 when he attacked a then 12-year-old victim, who was with relatives waiting for her mother at a bus stop at Jojweni Village.

"He grabbed the victim and dragged her to a nearby forest where he assaulted and raped her," said Tyali.

On the morning of 4 March 2015, Vani came across a 13-year-old victim who was walking to school at Gobe Forest Hill Locality.

"He threatened her with a knife, and dragged her to a forest where he raped her," said Tyali.

Two months down the line, on 3 June 2015, Vani, attacked a woman who had been sleeping with her children at Magiqweni Village.

He was in the company of an accomplice, who is still at large. They blind-folded the victim and took turns raping her.

Vani attacked and raped another woman, who was sleeping in her rented apartment at Njingini Village on 23 June 2015.

On 19 August 2017, a woman was asleep with her child and cousin at their home in Diphini village when she was awakened by a loud noise from the kitchen door.

“She noticed two male persons inside her house. They assaulted her and took turns raping her. Thereafter, they forced her to cook food and make tea for them, before fleeing the scene," said Tyali.

The last incident was on 1 October 2018, when the two men broke into the home in which a woman was sleeping with her 14-year-old daughter.

They assaulted the mother with a panga and raped her daughter before fleeing with her takkies, R1500 in cash and three cellphones.

During the commission of these crimes, Vani stayed in Cape Town where his late mother was a station commander at Delft Police Station.

He would occasionally visit his ancestral home in Butterworth.

He was linked to all the rapes through DNA after he was convicted in March this year for a 2016 murder which took place in Centane.

He is three months into serving the 15-year sentence for that offence.

Describing Vani as “season serial rapist”, Judge Mandela Makaula ordered that he only start serving the six life imprisonment terms after completing the sentence he is currently serving for murder.

State Advocate Chantel Govender applied for the court to have Vani’s name added to the National Register of Sex Offenders, which was granted.

The NPA welcomed the sentence.