Cop feels ‘priceless’ after nabbing rapists
A serial rapist left his cellphone number with one of the women he attacked. This is what police detective Lieutenant Wayne Olifant used to bust him.
Henry Skhai (30) now faces four life sentences, or 100 years behind bars, for terrorising women around the small Mpumalanga town of Hazyview between 2009 and 2011.
Olifant was attached to the Acornhoek family violence, child protection and sexual offences unit when he investigated rape cases, including that of Skhai’s.
Olifant now works in Gauteng, but his cases are still on trial in the Mpumalanga courts.
He investigated the cases opened by five women of rape, assault and armed robbery – all of which were later linked to Skhai. The rapist met women at a Hazyview shopping mall and promised them domestic work for R3 000 a month.
He then led them to a bushy area, where he raped, assaulted and robbed them. But the last rape survivor convinced Skhai to give her his number.
Olifant said: “She told him: ‘I can see you’re a decent guy ... Why can’t we be in love?’ They then exchanged numbers. [Skhai] also did not assault her or take her valuables as he had done to his other victims.
“The cellphone number gave me a breakthrough.” To trap Skhai, Olifant asked the woman to call and arrange to meet him at the mall one Saturday. Skhai agreed.
“By the time I arrived, they were standing outside the mall where he could run away. I asked the mall’s security guards to arrest him for me because he would not suspect anything. They did.” The other four victims pointed out Skhai at an identity parade and DNA tests proved he raped them.
Unfortunately, the woman who had helped Olifant trap Skhai refused to go to court.
“She refused to continue with the case and eventually I couldn’t get her on the phone. Skhai could have got five life sentences,” he said.
Olifant also caught another serial rapist, Timothy “Danger” Magagula (36), who was convicted of 12 rape counts, an attempted murder, three kidnappings and two serious assaults.
Magagula will be sentenced in the Nelspruit High Court next month for raping nine women.
Olifant said seeing criminals being convicted was a “priceless” feeling.
“I work extra hours to solve these cases. There’s no money, but the feeling I get ... is priceless,” he said.
Lieutenant Wayne Olifant