Pietermaritzburg sentences suspect to life three sences

Stock image of gavel. Photo: Envato Elements/Alex Star

Why this Durban criminal will spend the next 292 years behind bars

It’s one of South Africa’s longest-ever jail sentences. Mhlonipheni Mjadu will spend the best part of 300 years imprisoned: His rap sheet explains it all.

Pietermaritzburg sentences suspect to life three sences

Stock image of gavel. Photo: Envato Elements/Alex Star

A repeated offender from Durban was finally removed from society on Friday when he was convicted for a multitude of offences. Mhlonipheni Mjadu – aged 25 – learned of his fate in the Mtubatuba High Court, where it was ruled that he will spend the next three centuries behind bars.

The extensive punishment is something of an eye-catcher. Mjadu was sentenced to a total of 292 years in jail. It goes down as one of the longest sentences ever handed down by a judge in South Africa, trumping the time handed down to some of the country’s most notorious serial killers.

Durban’s Mhlonipheni Mjadu charge sheet – why he’s been jailed for so long:

How exactly did this bloke rack up such a hefty charge sheet? Here’s what he’s been convicted of:

  • Seven counts of rape: Seven life terms in jail (25 years each, 175 years in total)
  • Five counts of robbery: 75 years in jail
  • Six counts of housebreaking: 30 years in jail
  • One count of attempted rape: 12 years in jail
  • In total: 19 counts, 292 years behind bars

SAPS reveal details behind Esikhaleni’s nightmare resident

In a statement released on Friday, SAPS revealed the reign of terror that Mhlonipheni Mjadu inflicted upon the community of Esikhaleni. They also described the moment the 25-year-old attempted one crime too brazen, which lead to him getting banged up until 2311.

“During January 2016, a police constable was allegedly robbed of his firearm at Esikhaleni, Durban. He managed to overpower the suspect and arrested him. During the course of the investigation, the accused was linked through DNA analysis to 19 other crimes committed at Esikhaleni as from 2013.”

“The arrest brought his crime spree to an end and prevented him from terrorising the Esikhaleni community further. Following the DNA linkage, the investigating officer charged the accused in all 19 cases and he was eventually found guilty on all 19 counts.”

SAPS statement

Longest jail sentences in South Africa

But how does Mjadu’s sentence match-up to the truly nasty bastards of South African history? Well, he’s up there, but he hasn’t exactly set a record. That dishonour belongs to Moses Sithole, South Africa’s most prolific serial killer: He murdered 38 victims, and raped 40 more, landing him 2 410 years in prison – 10 times longer than Mjadu’s time.

Cedric Maake is currently serving a 1 340-year prison term for the 27 murders he committed in Gauteng between 1996 and 1997. Sipho Thwala is doing 504 years for the 19 murders he committed in Phoenix, KZN.

However, Mhlonipheni Mjadu has received a heftier sentence than apartheid gunman Eugene de Cock, who got 212 years for 89 charges – including six murders – while serving the abhorrent regime. Elsewhere, Cape Town’s “Station Strangler” Norman Simons got just 35 years for 25 murders. Yes, that particular judgement did cause an uproar.