9 November 2017

South Africa: 'Dangerous' Serial Rapist to Stay Behind Bars

Serial rapist Andre Gregory Mahomed, who has spent 17 years in jail after being convicted of raping young women in Durban and Pretoria, remains a threat to society and must stay behind bars.

This was the ruling on Thursday of Durban Regional Court magistrate Sharon Marks, who was tasked with deciding whether or not Mahomed should be set free.

The case came after Mahomed was sentenced to serve an "indefinite" term of imprisonment after Marks convicted him of 21 charges of rape, indecent assault and housebreaking in 2001.

Legislation dictates that in such circumstances, Mohamed had to be brought back to court for "resentencing" after 15 years, and so, exactly after 15 years to the day, he appeared again in the same court before the same magistrate.

The same prosecutor Val Melis and the investigating officer Lt Col Anton Booysen were there to argue that Mahomed was still a danger to society.

'Intelligent man'

The case has proceeded, on and off, over the past 18 months during which psychologists and psychiatrists testified. Only one - hired by the defence - said Mahomed was an "insightful, reflective and intelligent man" who had a clean prison record and should be released.

The others labelled him a manipulative psychopath.

His "clean record" counted for nothing, they said, because he was in a "controlled" environment and had no access to women.

They agreed that he suffered from antisocial personality disorder. Marks said she accepted this evidence and that "the community needs to still be protected from him".

She said he seemed to have no insight into his behaviour and he had not had any psychotherapy while in jail.

"There was a pattern to his crimes... .and I believe he will continue with this if released," she said. Mahomed's crime spree began in the late 1990s.

He targeted young women living alone in Durban's Morningside and Berea areas.

He was arrested but escaped - by simply walking out of an unlocked door - when he was taken to Durban Central Police Station for an identification parade.

He fled to Pretoria where he continued with his raping spree until he was finally arrested there.

'Dangerous criminal'

After magistrate Marks convicted him in Durban in 2001 and declared him a "dangerous criminal", he stood trial in Pretoria.

He was initially given a sentence of 177 years in prison but this was overturned on appeal and, in 2015, replaced with another "indefinite term", running for 15 years from that date.

In her ruling on Wednesday, Marks noted that he would have to appear in the Pretoria court on January 28, 2020, for a similar re-sentencing procedure.

She said because of this, she was recommending that the Durban and Pretoria matters be joined and the matter be heard as one on that day, in either city.

Most of Mahomed's victims refused to play any role in the hearing.

Only four were prepared to give victim impact statements.

One said that she had to get away from South Africa and had emigrated to England.

"The memories still haunt me," she said.

Another said she did not ever want to see his face again.

Another said she has a fear of men and constantly warns her daughters against any man.

It also emerged during argument on Thursday that two of his Pretoria victims had successfully sued the police for damages.

It is believed one of the women got a payout of R5 million because she was seriously injured - breaking almost every bone in her body - when she jumped out of a two-storey bathroom window to escape from him.

Source: News24

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