He did time for rape

2010-04-20 00:00

BIG, burly Gerald Rosselloty (37) appeared in the Pietermaritzburg Magistrate’s Court yesterday in connection with the murder of a young woman whose charred remains were found lying on a burnt mattress in a plantation in Hilton on Saturday.

Rosselloty was not asked to plead to the murder charge yesterday.

According to the state’s charge sheet, the victim was Nokwazi Mkhize.

Mkhize, of the Greytown area, was allegedly involved in a relationship with Rosselloty.

Sources said he was also involved in another relationship, with a woman who gave birth to his child at the weekend.

A photograph of Rosselloty — taken in hospital and smiling down at his newborn baby — was posted on his Facebook page at the weekend.

At this stage, Rosselloty has not been charged in connection with a fire on Friday night that partly destroyed the townhouse he was renting at Callanish Gardens in Monzali Drive, Hilton, about a kilometre from the murder scene.

Rosselloty, who was remanded in custody for seven days yesterday, while he makes arrangements for legal representation, complained to magistrate Divesh Mootheram of “rough” handling by police investigating the case.

State prosecutor Ricky van Wyk told the court that the investigating officer had asked that Rosselloty be held in police cells, but Rosselloty objected.

“I am unhappy … They [the police] have been rough and the reason that they want me at Loop Street police cells is that they can take me out whenever they want and do what they want. If I am at New Prison they have to sign me out,” he said.

Mootheram did not order that he be detained in the police cells, but simply remanded him in custody.

Van Wyk said the state will oppose bail for Rosselloty, who admitted during questioning by the court yesterday that he has four previous convictions — including robbery, rape, common assault and assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm spanning more than a de­cade.

Wearing white takkies, beige shorts and a grey T-shirt, and standing in a long line with the other accused making their first court appearances yesterday, Rosselloty was warned by Mootheram that failure to disclose previous convictions or pending cases is an offence punishable by a fine of up to R40 000 or two years’ imprisonment.

Rosselloty admitted he was sentenced to an effective 12 years’ imprisonment in 1993 for a robbery he committed in 1991, as well as rape committed in 1993. He told the court he was sentenced to eight years’ imprisonment on each charge, but that four years of the sentences were ordered to run concurrently.

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.

“I think that’s it,” he told Mootheram.

When asked if he had any pending cases, he asked if that included charges that have been withdrawn and was told it did not.

The Witness has been told that a charge was provisionally withdrawn against him recently pending the outcome of a DNA test.

Rosselloty said he wants to brief a private attorney to represent him, and Mootheram adjourned the case until April 26 for that purpose.

On that day it is likely a date will be set for the hearing of a formal bail application.

IT was reported in June 1993 by this reporter that Rosselloty — then 21 years old — was sentenced to an effective 12 years’ imprisonment for holding up a superette with a hand grenade during a R10 000 armed robbery in 1991, as well as for the violent rape of a young woman in her flat in March 1993.

Rosselloty admitted in court that the victim was a flatmate of his ex-girlfriend. He said after drinking at a nightclub he went to the flat, climbed through a window and threatened the victim with a kitchen knife before he raped her. She struggled and screamed and was cut on her hands and neck.

She slashed Rosselloty’s face with the knife and he fled naked from the flat. He was arrested the same night.

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