NATIONAL: (By Yasir Habib Khan)– South Africa’s worst serial rapist, Sifiso Makhubo, has met gruesome death when he killed himself in his prison cell, leaving an impression of deep guilt and strong message to others to seek retribution from his death against committing rape like heinous crime. He was found dead in his cell before his trial was due to begin. South Africa has highest rates of sexual violence in the world as around 64,000 cases were reported to the police last year.
He was facing 122 charges, raping 35 children and two women between January 2006 and February 2011. His youngest alleged victim was only 10 years old. He is also charged with attempted murder over allegations he knowingly infected his victims with HIV – the first such prosecution.
According to statistics, someone gets raped every four minutes. ”If data for all violent assaults, rapes and other sexual assaults against women are taken into account, then approximately 200,000 adult women are reported as being attacked in South Africa every year,” Lerato Moloi of the South African Institute for Race Relations said. The real figure is considerably higher, she said, since most cases never are reported.
The Department of State’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security rates Pretoria, Johannesburg, Durban, and Cape Town as “Critical” crime threat posts. Crime continues to be a key strategic concern for the South African government, as well as for U.S. government employees and visitors. In general, crimes continue to range throughout the full spectrum, from petty muggings to ATM scams to armed residential home invasions to rape incidents. These crimes occur with great frequency and throughout every neighborhood. Although Americans are not specifically targeted, they can become victims of crime when caught in the cross fire of armed attacks, when they do not pay attention to their surroundings, and/or when they make themselves an “easy target.”
Around 50 people are murdered in south Africa each day. The murder rate has increased by an order of magnitude in South Africa during the last 40 years though it has fallen from 66,9per 100,000 people in 1994 and 2009, from 2003-2009 crime decreased significantly according to official police data. Between 1994 and 2009 the murder rate was reduced by 50% to 34 murders to 34 per 100,000. People.
“Of all the matrics (high school graduates) in your class, one third have been raped!” says a public education announcement on Talk Radio 702, referring to statistics that estimate more than 30 percent of girls have been raped by the time they are 18.
It seems there are few places for South African girls to be safe: Many are raped in their homes by a relative or family friend; many are raped at school, often by teachers; only a quarter are raped by someone they do not know.
The authorities said that Mr Makhubo was alone in the cell and is believed to have hanged himself with a blanket but they are investigating the circumstances of his death. So far 33 DNA samples from evidence collected from the victims had been a match with the alleged rapist, reports said.
National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Phindi Louw said she was “sad” for Mr Makhubo’s victims because they did not get the “closure” they had expected. ”The case against Sifiso Makhubo took a huge amount of effort to bring to court. My heart goes out to the victims,” she said.
However, an advocate Livingstone Nguna representing an alleged serial rapist has said that his client believed he was wrongfully accused.
He said that his client was scheduled to appear in the Palm Ridge Magistrate’s Court on Thursday to face 122 charges relating to rape, attempted murder and kidnapping. He said it was unfortunate his client killed himself as he seemed to be upbeat about the trial.
“The question of identity was going to be at issue. A lot of effort and resources have been wasted.” The National Prosecuting Authority’s (NPA) Phindi Louw said they were deeply disappointed that the matter had to be struck off the role.
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