A 28-year-old man facing 40 separate charges of rape and other crimes appeared at Grahamstown High Court in Eastern Cape, South Africa, on Monday, 4 December.
The unidentified man, who cannot be named due to legal reasons, faces some 67 charges in total. If found guilty of all these crimes, he would be one of South Africa's most notorious serial rapists.
The man has been accused of terrible crimes against women, teenagers and children, aged between 11 and 46, in a violent five-year period, according to reports. The alleged rapes were committed in several towns in Eastern Cape, including Alice, Bathurst, Dutywa and Willowvale.
The suspect is also alleged to have committed some of the rapes in other areas as well, like Stellenbosch in Western Cape and Rustenburg in North West province.
The chargesheet filed against the man said that he had raped at least six students at the Alice campus of Fort Hare University between 2012 and 2013, and was a student of the university at that time. He has been linked via DNA evidence to all the rapes, Herald Live reported.
Local media reports stated that in about 10 of the 40 incidents, he had allegedly either raped the women or teenagers multiple times, or raped more than one woman in the houses he had broken into.
Apart from rape and assault, the accused has also been charged with other crimes, including robbery, theft, and housebreaking with intent to rob and rape.
In the indictment, the state said that a minimum sentence of life imprisonment was proposed for 11 of the charges because the victims had either been raped more than once or were under 16. The state added that it would also request life sentences in at least five of the other counts as the victims in those cases were allegedly raped in their homes by the man, who, by then, already fit the profile of a serial rapist.
The case has been postponed to 14 December, with the accused expected to plead guilty to all the charges during the hearing.