26 April 2018

South Africa: DNA Samples Link Limpopo's Alleged Serial Rapist to 15 Incidents

Photo: Leadership
(file photo)

The Limpopo High Court has heard how DNA samples collected from alleged victims of a serial rapist helped to prosecute the man who is accused of conducting a reign of terror on women for almost four years.

Prosecutor Samuel Ngobeni told the court on Wednesday that David Mamvura was linked to 15 alleged victims through forensic evidence.

On Wednesday, Ngobeni said only one complainant managed to identify the accused during an alleged rape while others told the court that they did not see the perpetrator's face.

This, however, did not mean that Mamvura had not raped them, he added.

Ngobeni also said the complainants told police that they had been raped and robbed by an "unknown" man because they did not see the perpetrator's face.

Identification

This came after Mamvura tried to exonerate himself from the scenes where the women had allegedly been raped - in their respective homes in Polokwane between 2012 and 2017.

Earlier in the trial, the complainants testified that they did not know who had raped them. However, two of the women positively identified Mamvura as the perpetrator.

Mamvura pleaded not guilty and denied that he was the person who had forced his way into homes and raped people. He told the court he did not know how his DNA was found on the complainants.

However, he confirmed that only one of the victim had managed to identify him during an identity parade held at a farm near Bela Bela.

Complainants told the court one after the other that nurses and doctors collected semen at the hospital hours after they had been raped.

Ngobeni said the outcome of forensic DNA tests linked Mamvura to the crimes he had been charged with. He is facing several counts of rape and housebreaking-related charges.

Ngobeni told court that police took a saliva swab on Mamvura in 2017, shortly after he was arrested for housebreaking and rape, and that they also linked him to the other cases.

On Tuesday, he told the court that he wanted witnesses from Zimbabwe and local-based Zimbabwean nationals, including his girlfriend, to testify on his behalf to help dismiss accusations against him.

Mamvura, who opted to represent himself during the trial, told the court that he believed that his witnesses would testify that he was not in SA between 2013 and 2014.

Witnesses

He applied to have his witnesses called after Ngobeni indicated that he would not be calling any further witnesses.

In a one-page submission, Mamvura listed at least seven witnesses, some said to be from Zimbabwe, his country of birth.

"I can see that the allegations against me are very serious and I decided to call witnesses," Mamvura said.

His application was granted, and the court ordered that investigators assist in ensuring that witnesses are called as requested by the accused.

However, Judge Francis Kganyago warned Mamvura that he should be clear on what he wanted to solicit from his witnesses.

This was after Kganyago found on Tuesday that Mamvura was not guilty of seven of the 40 counts of rape and housebreaking charges against him.

Several victims from Polokwane have accused Mamvura of sexual assault. Others have accused him of using a hammer, knife and screwdriver to attack them.

Evidence emerged during the trial that Mamvura waited until late in the evenings - after 21:00 - to launch his attacks.

It also emerged that Mamvura allegedly raped a fellow awaiting trial prisoner while held at police holding cells in Polokwane.

The trial was postponed to July 9 for Mamvura to consults his witnesses.

Kganyago warned that, if Mamvura's witnesses were not present on the next date, the trial would continue without them.

News24

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