Durban 'highway rapist': Anger as sentencing is postponed

2019-07-24 15:11
A group of demonstrators outside Pinetown Magistrate's Court calling for maximum sentence for the Durban "highway rapist".

A group of demonstrators outside Pinetown Magistrate's Court calling for maximum sentence for the Durban "highway rapist". (Kaveel Singh, News24)

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There was visible disappointment and anger in the Pinetown Magistrate's Court on Wednesday after the long-awaited sentencing of the Durban "highway rapist" was postponed.

Many of the victims and relatives expressed frustration after the court heard that the sentencing could only take place on August 30, as presiding Magistrate Bilkish Asmal had fallen ill.

"I feel very bad after hearing this news… this person was meant to be sentenced, he should have been sentenced today. We can't keep coming back for his case. It gets postponed over and over again. This postponement today really has us angry," said the mother of one victim who did not want to be named.

Wearing a grey shirt and tattered black pants, an emotionless Moses Mavila impatiently stood in the dock.

Upon hearing the matter would be postponed, Mavila also appeared to be visibly upset while communicating with his lawyer.

'Little or no support from state institutions'

Mavila pleaded guilty to more than 60 cases of robbery and rape earlier this year.

He made headlines after raping and assaulting at least 30 women between 2016 and 2019. He would lure his victims with the promise of work.

Most of his victims were raped along secluded areas of the M19 highway in the western part of the city.

The DA's KwaZulu-Natal spokesperson on social development, Elma Rabe, who attended proceedings, said the sentencing was meant to bring closure for "the brave women who have come forward and reported these heinous crimes".

"Instead, there is a delay, allegedly as a result of the magistrate being on leave. Regrettably this means that they will have to wait even longer to see justice served."

She said that a woman was raped every hour in the province.

"To make matters worse, victims of such traumatic events are also often left to fend for themselves, with little or no support from state institutions."

Rabe said she would ask Social Development MEC Nonhlanhla Khoza to work closely with the province’s community safety department. She called for more resources to be provided for rape victims.

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Read more on:    durban  |  courts  |  crime
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