The suspect only delayed justice but could not deny it.
The initial judge who presided over the case had passed on, and the convict wanted the case to start afresh. But the new judge me resisted the request, referencing the laws of the land on issues similar to this.
Mdlolo terrorised residents of Klipspruit, Kliptown and Pimville in Soweto between July 5, 2012 and December 1, 2012. He broke into people’s homes at night, robbed them of their belongings and even raped some of them.
He was finally sentenced on Wednesday after spending three years on the run. On December 2, 2014 – the day he was expected to be sentenced by the late Judge George Maluleke – he escaped from the Gauteng High Court, sitting in Palm Ridge. He was rearrested in December 2018.
He arrived at court on Wednesday morning under heavy police guard. Throughout proceedings, he was shackled and handcuffed.
Before passing sentence, Judge Ratha Mokgoatlheng warned him that he was a substitute judge who was only reading out the sentencing Maluleke prepared before he died.
But Mdlolo claimed that he thought his case would start afresh after Maluleke died.
However, Mokgoatlheng explained there was no way that the matter would restart.
“Judge Maluleke has died. The law in South Africa says if a judge convicts a person and later when that judge dies another judge must continue with the matter. Judges die daily in South Africa. I have colleagues in Durban, Mthatha, Free State, North West who have died. If a judge dies, a case doesn’t die,” he said when Mdlolo persisted.