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The BBC's Kate Paighton
"Survivors and relatives of the victims packed the court"
 real 28k

Thursday, 16 March, 2000, 07:47 GMT
Serial killer jailed for 1,340 years
Maake with police
Maake (centre) being taken to the scene of one of his crimes
A man convicted of murdering 27 people has been jailed for 1,340 years by the High Court in South Africa.

Cedric Maake was found guilty earlier this month of 27 murders, 26 counts of attempted murder, 41 of armed robbery, 14 of rape and a number of lesser crimes.

Maake - known as the Wemmer Pan serial killer, after the southern Johannesburg suburb where most of the murders took place - pleaded innocent to 133 charges.

He said he would appeal and boasted he would be out of jail in two years.

Judge Geraldine Borchers said Maake was a dangerous man who would kill without compunction, and had to be permanently removed from society.

She said the 36-year-old watched couples have sex before usually killing the man and raping his female companion.

Death penalty

Families of the victims said they welcomed the sentence.

However, one relative said: "If the death sentence was still in place I would be happier."

South Africa scrapped the death penalty in 1994, but there have been calls for its reintroduction.

The country is one of the world's most violent places outside a war zone.

South Africa's worst serial killer is Moses Sithole, who killed 38 people, mostly young women. He was sentenced to more than 2,400 years in jail in 1997.

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