SA ‘should be grateful’ for long sentence for serial rapist
Judge George Maluleke, who died last week, left an indelible mark on the legal profession
SOUTH Africans are paying tribute to one of its finest judges, George Maluleke, who died on Tuesday night, the eve of Women’s Day.
It would be fitting if the country said “Thank you Judge Maluleke” for sending the country’s worst serial rapist, Mongezi Samuel Jingxela, to at least 45 years in jail before he could be considered for parole.
Jingxela was 38 years old in December 2007 when Judge Maluleke sentenced him to 2 641 years in jail following his conviction on 60 counts of rape, multiple counts of aggravated robbery, assault and theft. He ordered that Jingxela would effectively sit in jail for 45 years, or until after his 83rd birthday.
Even after the 45 years, Maluleke gave the Correctional Services bosses pre-conditions to set Jingxela free saying only if he is deemed to “no longer be a danger to society”.
Otherwise he must rot in jail, the ruling stated. “You treated them like dogs after satisfying your sexual urge,” Maluleke said.
Maluleke was appointed judge of the high court in 1993, having previously acted as a judge in the Venda High Court. He made numerous landmark rulings since his appointment, and his judgment against Jingxela was among them.
Not a single court disagreed with his judgment against Jingxela. The monster made numerous attempts to appeal against his sentence, including claiming that the C-Max Prison in Kokstad, where he is serving his sentence, was not suitable for human beings. He wanted to be kept at Joburg’s Maximum Prison.
When his court attempts failed, he tried to petition The Star, saying incarceration had made it difficult for his family to visit him, as he was forever kept in leg irons in jail.
Evidently, Judge Maluleke’s judgment had impacted heavily on this man; he was kept away from normal human beings and his only friends in jail were fellow convicts, including serial rapist Ananias Mathe, who died at that prison in December last year.
In sentencing Jingxela, Judge Maluleke said he preyed on young female students and tricked them into believing his job offers, but then took them to “isolated and deserted areas where he assaulted, robbed and raped them”.
“The multiplicity of the rapes compounded the severity of the crimes. The aggravation of the crime ruled out any mitigating factors. All the victims were tertiary students and one of them was doing post-graduate studies.
“One of the witnesses even testified about how she had to abort the baby she was carrying prior to the rape. She was crying hysterically in the witness box. All the complainants lost valuable goods during their attacks,” he had said.
In his bid to avoid a long-term jail sentence, Jingxela asked the court not to consider life sentences “because most of his victims weren’t virgins”, but Judge Maluleke had none of it.
After sentencing him, Jingxela was sent to C-Max prison in Kokstad where he would remain until 2052. If Correctional Services opted to release him earlier, victims could approach the courts to prevent his early release, Judge Maluleke had ruled.
Jingxela began his raping spree in 1994 when he lured young students with promises of jobs, only to take them to the mine dumps around Joburg. Once there, he raped them and left them to find their way home.
In most cases, he acted alone. In other cases, he was accompanied by a friend. Jingxela was initially caught in the act during his first attack in the bush near the mine dump on the N1 highway on September 24, 1994.
He and a friend were raping two women in the bush when police pounced on them.
Both were taken into custody. His friend was kept in jail and sentenced to four years while Jingxela was released on bail of R1 000 by the Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court.
He skipped bail and moved out of the house where he lived in Mokoena Street, Orlando East, in Soweto. Police lost track of him and a warrant for his arrest was issued.
He was arrested on August 5, 2004, when the arresting officer Captain Zakhele Zwane traced a victim’s cellphone and found it in possession of Jingxela’s estranged wife. On September 2, 2004, he escaped again and continued with his raping spree, but Captain Zwane was quick to put him back behind bars.
He remained an awaiting-trial prisoner for two years before the case was put on trial in March 2007. The trial lasted for 10 months. During his trial, Jingxela appeared in leg irons and under heavy police guard.
It was Zwane and prosecutor advocate Louisa Loots who formulated a formidable case against him which made Judge Maluleke rule he was not a good candidate for rehabilitation.
Last week, Gauteng Premier David Makhura paid tribute to Maluleke, describing him as a legal mind who had dedicated his life to a struggle for freedom and was a champion for human rights.
“On behalf of the people of Gauteng and the provincial government, we are truly saddened by the loss of one of our great legal minds.
“We will remember Judge Maluleke for his complete integrity, independence and his immense contribution towards transforming the country’s justice system,” Makhura said.
His contribution to the rule of law, and the development of young black minds in the discipline and practice of the law, had left an indelible mark on the profession, he added.
You treated them like dogs after satisfying your sexual urge