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

The Star Early Edition - - NEWS - BALD­WIN NDABA

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

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