Predator who hates women

2011-03-26 15:45

Jack Madumetja Mogale, dubbed “the West End serial killer” by police ­because Gauteng’s western areas ­became his killing fields, professed his innocence throughout his trial.

Crouching low in the dock, one leg resting on the wooden wall in front of him, Mogale tried to hide from photographers inside his hooded jacket.

It was his confession made to former top cop Piet Byleveld that led to his conviction and incarceration “for the remainder of his natural life” last week.

The confession was made shortly after Mogale’s arrest on March 27 2009, at a time when the full ­extent of his gruesome crimes was not yet known.

The seasoned detective was brought in to take down his statement – which Mogale made of his own free will, Byleveld testified.

With his trademark soft approach and skilful interrogation techniques, Byleveld had Mogale confessing within minutes. Mogale became emotional and Byleveld offered to help him clear his conscience.

Mogale replied: “Director, I want you to help me because when I am with women I lose control and I don’t know what I’m doing. I kill them if they don’t give me what I want.”

Mogale then initialled only the first page of his confession and ­refused to sign the whole statement.

This chameleon-like character led Judge Frans Kgomo to call him “an untruthful, unreliable and untrustworthy” witness.

Like an angry schoolmaster, Kgomo stared across his bench last Friday at Mogale, who wrapped his hands around the wooden dock and met the judge’s stare ­without emotion: “I am happy, sir, to grant you your wish,” the judge said.

“Sir, there is no way for you to be outside prison and not come into contact with women. To protect you and women from yourself, I am removing you from society for good.”

And with that, one of South Africa’s worst serial murderers finally started paying for his “despicable crimes” with a sentence that will outlast him by many years.

During his killing spree, between 2008 and 2009, Mogale created an image of himself as a smart, trustworthy man.

Donning a ZCC badge and sangoma beads, he would slide ­into his girlfriend’s cream Volkswagen Golf and go on the prowl, leading her to believe he was using her car as a taxi to earn a living.

This smart accessory would finally net him, because a witness told police about a man who aroused her suspicion, giving her a lift and then driving off with another young woman, who was later found murdered.

He approached women in Westonaria, ­Lenasia and Venterspost, southwest of ­Johannesburg.

His first known victim, Emily ­Sambo, was no stranger to him. The day she disappeared, she had testified in a fraud case Mogale was facing in Westonaria, and then boarded a train back to Protea Glen.

He convinced her to get off the train at ­Waterworks Station, close to his home. Her badly decomposed body was one of the last to be discovered, almost two years after she had ­disappeared.

He picked his victims fastidiously: they were black, female and naive.

“His hatred of women could be the result of some life experience, some perceived ­maltreatment by them,” Kgomo said.

In retelling her ordeal, one of only two women who survived his clutches shed light on how Mogale charmed his victims and was able to strike down woman after woman.

Mogale presented himself as a “moruti” with the wisdom to heal all ailments.

When he offered 18-year-old Lerato* a lift to town, Mary Sepeng and her two children – aged two and three – were already in the car. Unknown to Lerato, Mogale had already tried his “prophesies” on Mary, telling her someone was after her husband and that he could help. But something felt odd to Mary.

When he dropped Mary off, Mogale told ­Lerato to move to the front seat. Mary was ­suspicious, and as she watched them drive off she memorised the number plate because something about him had felt odd to her.

Mogale told Lerato she was destined to be married to a rich man, but that she was spooked by a spell of bad luck and needed to drink specially brewed tea to rid herself of it – a trick he played on many of his victims.

As the only other survivor testified, a ­seemingly good man “suddenly turned into a monster”. Mogale sped down a gravel road into the veld and pulled Lerato violently from the car.

She put up a brave fight, grabbing hold of his sangoma beads, but Mogale used a brick to smash her face. He throttled her until she lost consciousness and then raped her so violently that she still suffers “excruciating pain”.

He left her for dead, but Lerato’s body did not give up. A day ­later she regained consciousness and crawled to a security guard, who helped her.

One toddler and 15 women did not survive. The “moruti” preyed on them in parking lots, at filling stations and at shopping centres.

A high school drop-out with two teenage children, Mogale has not held down a job in his life, but he honed his skills as a smooth talker, charmer and “prophet” who could heal people, handing out blue advertising pamphlets detailing all the illnesses and ­ailments which he could “cure”.

He left all of his victims’ bodies without ­underwear and their faces covered in mud. When found, most of them were in such ­advanced stages of decomposition, they could not be ­identified.

Born 44 years ago next month, Mogale was just 21 when he was sent to prison for seven years in 1988 after his first rape conviction. Eight years later he was again jailed for rape, this time for 10 years.

This was before the legislation that prescribes a minimum life-sentence for murder and rape was in effect, so Mogale was released on parole.

Kgomo said: “When Mogale was arrested in March 2009 he showed contempt and hatred towards women. He has the character traits of a psychopath.” He then told Mogale: “You are an evil and perverted serial murderer and rapist.” – Additional reporting by Sapa *Names have been changed to protect ­the survivors of sexual crime

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