Arson, child rape charges added

2010-05-15 00:00

HILTON man Gerald Rosselloty (37), who is charged with the murder of a girlfriend, Nokwazi Mkhize, now faces additional charges of child rape and arson.

Rosselloty appeared in court yesterday, where he elected not to pursue his application for bail and instead asked for a chance to apply for legal aid.

It is believed the rape charge is one that was previously withdrawn against him provisionally.

According to the charge sheet, he is alleged to have raped a young girl (believed to have been six years old at the time) in Pietermaritzburg on September 3, 2006.

The arson charge arises from an allegation that Rosselloty set fire to the house he was renting from Graeme Carter on the same date that Mkhize was killed and her body burned.

State prosecutor Ricky van Wyk asked Pietermaritzburg magistrate Mishi Singh yesterday to postpone the case for further investigation. He added that the state is waiting for an outstanding DNA result.

He said the investigating officer has requested the forensic science laboratory to “fast-track” the tests. He sadi he believe the results could be available in about 10 weeks.

Clad in khaki shorts, a black T-shirt and white running shoes, Rosselloty stroked his chin occasionally as he sat waiting for his case to be called.

The case had been set down for an opposed bail application yesterday. Rosselloty — who had chosen to defend himself — previously indicated that he wanted to apply for bail, which the state opposed.

His request instead to apply for legal aid was granted by Singh, who told him his decision is a “wise one”.

“You now face three charges in all. One of murder, one of arson and one of rape,” she said.

The case was postponed to June 23. Rosselloty has not pleaded to any of the charges so far.

He was arrested last month on the same day that Mkhize’s body was found in a Hilton plantation by a woman walking her dogs, and police discovered that the townhouse he was renting at Callanish Gardens in Hilton had been partly destroyed by fire.

While he was allegedly involved in a relationship with Mkhize, Rosselloty was also allegedly having an affair with a woman who gave birth to his child in hospital the day before the alleged murder.

His photograph, smiling down at his newborn baby, was posted on his Facebook site.

WHEN he appeared in court for the first time on April 19, Rosselloty admitted four previous convictions, for robbery, rape and assault.

Rosselloty said he was sentenced to an effective 12 years’ imprisonment in 1993 for rape as well as a robbery he committed in 1991.

In 2002 he was convicted of common assault and fined R100, and in 2005 he was found guilty of assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm, for which he was sentenced to three years’ correctional supervision.

According to a report of Rosselloty’s trial in 1993, he admitted that he raped a flatmate of his ex-girlfriend at knifepoint after climbing through her window. She fought him off and he fled naked and was arrested the same night.

The robbery charge arose from a hold-up at a superette, in which he used a hand-grenade to threaten the staff.

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