Beaded penis rapist refuses to show his face

inlPicsCopy of PN Rapist201602 INDEPENDENT MEDIA Serial rapist Sipho Mbokazi who appeared in the Pretoria High Court hides his face. Picture: Zelda Venter

Pretoria - A serial rapist refused to show his face in court on Tuesday and pulled his T-shirt over his head for the entire proceedings.

Not even Judge Jody Kollapen’s request for him to stand at the start of the proceedings could prompt Sipho Mbokazi to show his face.

Mbokazi, who was due to be sentenced following his conviction on 22 charges - including 10 of rape and nine of robbery with aggravating circumstances - was upset about the fact that he was being photographed by the media while in the dock.

After the judge postponed the proceedings to March 23, Mbokazi who was described as extremely vicious by his victims, stumbled down the stairs to the holding cells, only peeking through a sleeve in his T-shirt.

Despondent sighs could be heard from the public gallery as Mbokazi’s sentencing was yet again postponed - this time because he refused to consult with an Afrikaans-speaking social worker regarding a pre-sentencing report.

The matter was postponed as Mbokazi, known as the beaded rapist because his victims recognised him by beads he had inserted in his private parts, insisted on a social workers’ report setting out his personal circumstances.

A Zulu-speaking social worker will now be appointed.

One of his many victims cried bitterly and eventually became near hysterical as it was clear her attacker would not be sentenced on Tuesday.

The other victims said it was unfair they were not allowed closure so they could continue with their lives. “We are so despondent we don’t even know whether we will be back in court when he is sentenced,” one victim said.

Judge Kollapen explained to the victims that as they have rights, their rapist also has rights.

His advocate said as he was facing a series of life imprisonment terms for raping his victims, a pre-sentencing report was necessary.

The State said it was considering asking the court to declare Mbokazi a dangerous criminal. This would mean that the court would - instead of sentencing him - postpone his sentence for 25 years. He will then after two and a half decades again appear in court for an assessment based on his behaviour in jail. Mbokazi, also known as the Soshanguve serial rapist, from August 2012 to April the following year, conducted a reign of terror among women north of Pretoria.

Masked by a balaclava in many cases, Mbokazi violently raped his victims at either knife or gunpoint after robbing them.

One victim, who was raped in front of her 6-year-old son, said the child had been terrified ever since. “He does not want to stay with me and he is terrified of the dark.”

The victims said Mbokazi had ruined their lives and they would never forgive him for what he had done.

However, he disputed throughout that he is the rapist in spite of DNA evidence linking him to the rapes. Some of the victims also said they would never forget his eyes.

But his beaded penis had cost him dearly, as many of the victims described his “bumpy” penis. Others identified him by a distinctive scar on his face.

Mbokazi admitted he used to wear beads on his private parts, but had removed them. But he said this was not to say he was the rapist, as “a beaded penis was not uncommon”. Judge Kollapen found that the victims did positively identify their attacker, either by his scar, eyes or private parts. He also said DNA evidence could not be disputed.

zelda.venter@inl.co.za

Pretoria News

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