Murdered child: trial starts

2009-11-17 00:00

A MAN from Howick West, Faizel Mohamed Sayed (35), appeared in the high court in Pietermaritzburg yesterday in connection with 29 charges of murder, kidnapping, rape, attempted rape and robbery with aggravating circumstances.

He will stand trial on these charges before acting Judge Ben van Heerden and assessors over the next three weeks.

State advocate Ian Cooke and defence advocate Louis Barnard held discussions yesterday with a view to shorten the proceedings, and Sayed will be asked to plead to the charges today.

Four of the counts arise from the kidnapping, rape and murder of a nine-year-old girl, Nombuso Nhlangulela, who vanished from Howick Secondary School on February 28 last year, and was found dead from suffocation tied to a tree in the village on March 3.

A plastic bag had been placed over the child’s head, making it impossible for her to breathe, according to the state’s indictment.

It is alleged that the girl’s assailant raped her twice while she was being held prisoner.

Sayed is also charged with raping nine other women and adolescent girls in the Pietermaritzburg area, between April 26 to June 21 last year.

The ages of his other alleged victims range from 13 to 21 years.

The state alleges that Sayed was in the company of others on occasions when he accosted some of his victims, but alleges that he was alone when he kidnapped Nombuso.

The little girl was waiting at Howick Secondary School to meet up with others who were about to finish classes when she decided to go to a nearby tuck shop. Sayed allegedly accosted her on the way, forced her to go with him and kept her prisoner for a number of days and allegedly raped her twice, once using a candle.

Other attacks in 2008 that Sayed was allegedly involved in:

• On Saturday, April 26, Sayed — travelling with others — allegedly accosted a 15-year-old girl on her way to the public library and forced her into their vehicle. He later allegedly raped her twice in an isolated spot.

• On Monday, April 28, Sayed allegedly accosted a 17-year-old girl in Pietermaritzburg on the pretext of offering her a part-time job. He allegedly took her to a secluded spot and raped her twice.

• On Sunday, May 11, he allegedly raped a 13-year-old girl twice, after he approached her in the CBD and pretended he wanted her to sell airtime on his behalf.

• On Monday, May 19, Sayed allegedly raped a 21-year-old woman after promising her a job.

• On Friday, May 23, he allegedly waylaid a 19-year-old woman in the CBD, forced her to accompany him at knifepoint, raped her at an isolated place and stole her handbag and clothing.

• On Sunday, June 1, Sayed — again in the company of others in a vehicle — allegedly forced a 13-year-old girl into their vehicle. Sayed allegedly raped her twice.

• On Saturday, June 7, Sayed allegedly duped a 21-year-old woman into going with him on the pretext that he had employment for her, and then raped her at an isolated place.

• On Monday, June 16, Sayed allegedly persuaded an 18-year-old woman to accompany him on a pretext he would find her a job. He allegedly raped her five times, and robbed her of cash, clothing and her handbag.

• Finally, on Saturday, June 21, it is alleged he met a 17-year-old woman in the city, offered to provide her with a job, and persuaded her to accompany him by vehicle.

After they had alighted, the woman allegedly did not want to go with Sayed, but he allegedly produced a firearm and forced her to a secluded spot.

He allegedly raped her once, and while attempting to rape her again, was disturbed by passers-by and fled.

The victim was robbed of a cellphone and clothing.

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