Serial rapists start 'slowly', court hears

2014-08-26 19:59

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Pietermaritzburg - Serial rapists usually start "slowly", in one or two incidents, and if they escape detection and gain confidence they rape repeatedly and often brazenly.

This was according to police crime profiler and forensic psychologist Captain Elmarie Myburgh who was testifying in the KwaZulu-Natal High Court in Pietermaritzburg on Tuesday in the trial of alleged serial rapist Khumbulani Rankentsi, 20, of Pietermaritzburg.

Rankentsi faces 11 rape charges, four charges of kidnapping his victims, and two of robbing them between February 2011 and July 2013.

She said only two complained that he robbed them of cash and cellphones, which indicated that the primary motive was rape, not theft.

She believed that through her linkage analysis Rankentsi committed the offences.

Her reasons were the crimes he allegedly committed, the time and place, blitz attacks, violence, disrobing victims, vaginal rapes without condoms and speaking to his victims.

She said linkage analysis focused on the psychological behaviour of the offender during the crime, either gleaned by investigators or from victim and witness accounts.

This linkage analysis did not include physical evidence such as DNA, fingerprints, ballistic evidence or accused's admissions.


Rankentsi's victims were black and aged from their late teens to early 60s.

They were attacked mainly on Sundays, in the early morning or at night.

The victims said their attacker wore either a balaclava or a hood over his head and his face was covered or hidden.

Most of the victims were walking on footpaths or roads when they were suddenly attacked blitz-style, grabbed round the neck or by an arm, and forced into bushes. Three victims had a companion, but the presence of the third party did not deter him as he either chased or attacked them.

He controlled his victims by threatening them with a firearm, and/or bushknife, and/or axe.

Some of the victims saw he had more than one weapon. He threatened to physically attack them if they screamed or did not co-operate. Some reported that he choked them.

Rankentsi spent time with most of the victims after the assault.

Myburgh said this was to extend his control over them.

Rankentsi has pleaded not guilty.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  crime

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