Cop feels ‘price­less’ af­ter nab­bing rapists

CityPress - - News - SIZWE SAMA YENDE sizwe.yende@city­press.co.za

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

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