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Sangoma handed 17 life sentences for raping 17 girls in 24 hours

Johan Mlombo was found guilty of raping the girls at an initiation school in Mpumalanga in August 2012.

FILE: Johan Jabulani Mlombo was found guilty of raping the girls, who were between the ages of nine and 17, within the space of 24 hours. Picture: SAPS.

JOHANNESBURG - A 50-year-old sangoma in Mpumalanga has been handed 17 life sentences for raping 17 girls at his initiation school.

Johan Jabulani Mlombo was found guilty of raping the girls, who were between the ages of nine and 17, within the space of 24 hours in August in 2012.

This afternoon, he was also sentenced to 15 years in prison for three counts of sexual assault.

The sentences, taken together, amount to 425 years.

The police's Leonard Hlathi says, "The couple enrolled 21 girls, aged between nine and 17 during winter in 2012. In the initiation school, Mlombo raped and sexually assaulted the initiates on 29 August 2012."

Mlombo's wife, Mapalase Khosa, was also handed a 21-year sentence, suspended for three years, for two counts of assault and one count of assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm.