No cure for serial rapists — expert

2013-04-30 00:00

SERIAL rapists have little chance of being rehabilitated, an expert criminologist told the regional court here yesterday.

Magistrate Phumlani Bhengu was urged to impose three life sentences on Sthembiso Mkhize (34) for the separate rapes of three teenagers in 2010 and 2011.

The rapes took place in the Botha’s Hill area.

Prosecutor Sandra Kloppers said society needed protection from Mkhize, who fitted all the criteria of a serial rapist.

Mkhize continued to deny his guilt yesterday, despite having been convicted.

Asked if he objected to a victim impact statement being handed in by one of the victims, he replied: “I won’t say I object or not … she is talking about something I have no knowledge of.”

Dr Johan de Wet, a lecturer in criminology and forensic studies at University of KwaZulu-Natal and an expert on serial rape, told the court that serial rapists “will not stop” and could rarely be rehabilitated because of their ingrained psychological motives.

He said there were no programmes available to rehabilitate serial rapists because each one had a different motive and method.

“Punitive measures or imprisonment are the only ways to protect society from a serial rapist,” he said.

Kloppers asked the magistrate to find that Mkhize was, in fact, a serial rapist.

He stands convicted of raping two 15-year-old girls, each of them more than once, after accosting them close to his home.

The first victim was raped on March 30, 2010, and the second on June 19 that year.

He accosted and raped the third victim, an 18-year-old, while she was waiting for her boyfriend outside a tavern on February 13, 2011.

Kloppers said the victims were all “young, quite short and pretty”.

In each instance, Mkhize’s defence was that a love relationship had existed between them, which the victims denied.

“In all three cases the victims were physically dragged to his home or near to his home and raped … He grabbed them by the neck,” she said.

Kloppers said two of the victims were hurt as a result of being dragged after falling.

He pulled one girl along a footpath and raped her, and the other was dragged from her bed and taken a long distance to the place where he raped her.

All the victims were threatened with a knife or firearm to get them to submit.

Kloppers said that when the two younger victims were raped, Mkhize used a condom, but didn’t do so on the third occasion because he had attacked the victim on the spur of the moment.

The case was postponed until today.

Mkhize has indicated that he wants to call his mother to testify in mitigation of sentence.


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