Convicted rapist Thabo Bester, dubbed the Facebook Rapist, conned two unsuspecting airline charter companies into giving him free flights worth more than R500000.
The two chartered flights, between December and July, were from Johannesburg's Lanseria Airport to Cape Town.
Bester, who used numerous aliases, including Thomas, used Facebook to lure women to meet him before he robbed them at knife-point and, at times, raped them in hotel rooms and guesthouses.
He lured young women with promises of lucrative international modelling contracts and TV work.
Bester, who was sentenced to an effective 50 years' jail by the Durban Regional Court on Friday for robbing and raping two women, was arrested last week in Alberton, south of Johannesburg. He pleaded guilty to all four charges.
The Sunday Times this week established that, on December 30 last year, he chartered a Beechcraft 1900 from National Airways Corporation (NAC) to fly him and 16 people to Cape Town for four nights.
NAC account manager Zubar Khan said he thought the 23-year-old was a trendy "rich kid" with money to burn.
"He is a smooth talker. Looking back at it now, it seems like he's done that before," he said.
Bester signed all the correct documentation and allegedly produced a bogus internet transfer slip for R275000.
When the money failed to appear in the account the next day, Khan said they cancelled the return trip.
Themba Chiuriri, a front-desk employee at Atlantic Beach Hotel in Melkbosstrand, said Bester's guests paid individually when he eventually absconded on January 3.
Khan and Chiuriri said Bester had already charged the youngsters up front for the full trip.
In a separate incident in July, Bester leased a private jet from Fortune Air to fly four models from Lanseria to Cape Town. The jet made a stopover in Durban to pick him up, along with another woman. The return leg of the flight was again cancelled after Fortune Air realised that the Internet transfer was fake.
Police spokesman Captain Tebogo Kgomo said the company lost R300000, as the flight and accommodation were booked as a package. Kgomo said Fortune Air laid a complaint of fraud and NAC indicated they would do the same tomorrow. Fortune Air declined to comment.
Bester's legal aid attorney, Narendra Narotam, said his client would seek leave to appeal.
Testifying in mitigation of sentence, Bester broke down, saying the abuse he had suffered as a child had led him to a life of crime.
He painted a grim picture of his childhood growing up with an alcoholic grandmother, being sexually abused by an older man and being gang-raped in jail.
Durban magistrate Sharon Marks sentenced him to 15 years' imprisonment for each of the two counts of rape. He was sentenced to another 15 years, with five years suspended, for each of the two counts of armed robbery with aggravating circumstances.
He has 14 days to appeal the sentence.
He is expected to be taken to Gauteng this weekend to face additional charges there.