Six life terms plus 85 years for child killing serial rapist

2010-12-23 00:00

CONVICTED child murderer and serial rapist Faizel Sayed (37) was handed six life sentences plus jail terms totalling 85 years by Acting Pietermaritzburg high court Judge Ben van Heerden yesterday.

The sentences were ordered to run concurrently, as the law dictates. Sayed will be able to apply for parole after 25 years.

Sayed was found guilty of four counts of kidnapping, two rapes and the murder of a nine-year-old Howick girl, Nombuso Nhlangulela, as well as kidnappings, multiple rapes and robberies with aggravating circumstances perpetrated on eight other teenagers and young women in 2008.

Nombuso’s father, Themba Nhlangulela, said while the sentence cannot bring his daughter back, it was comforting to know that other people’s children can be saved from Sayed.

Nhlangulela, who was not present during sentencing, said he was unhappy with the police for failing to keep him informed about the progress of the trial.

Van Heerden found no justification for imposing less than the prescribed minimum sentences on Sayed for all his crimes.

He said Sayed showed no remorse and tried to escape the consequences of his actions by any means he could. He put each of the victims through a traumatic trial, forcing them to relive events they must have wanted to block from their minds.

The judge added that Sayed was not a first offender and although his previous crimes were ones of dishonesty, not violence, they reflected his disregard for the law from an early age.

He said Sayed’s crime spree spanned some five months from February to June, when he was arrested as a result of being spotted “by chance” in the street by one of his victims.

He had opportunities to reflect on his actions, yet continued with his conduct “over, and over and over again”, and would have carried on if he had not been caught, the judge said.

The murder of Nombuso caused outrage in the community. Her body was found tied to a tree in Howick four days after she was kidnapped from outside the Howick Secondary School on February 28, 2008. She had been gagged with a sock stuffed in her mouth and a plastic bag was tied over her head.

Medical evidence showed she was raped at least twice.

Sayed’s blood was tested following his arrest and a DNA expert found his DNA profile matched semen found on a blouse Nombuso wore.

Van Heerden granted Sayed’s application for leave to appeal to the high court against his convictions on all counts.

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