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Serial killer who claimed to be ’under influence of muti’ sentenced to six life terms

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The Western Cape High Court has sentenced a serial killer to six life terms and 17 years’ imprisonment.

File picture: Pixabay

THE WESTERN Cape High Court sitting in Swellendam has sentenced a serial killer to six life terms and 17 years’ imprisonment.

On Monday, Zimbabwean national Brian Mudyiwayana was convicted on six counts of murder, a count of robbery with aggravating circumstances and two counts of being in the country illegally (Contravention of the Refugees Act, 130 of 1998).

He was acquitted on the rape charge.

Mudyiwayana went on a killing spree between 2016 and 2017.

He murdered five women and a man from Swellendam, Bredasdorp, Mossel Bay and De Doorns. The victims were Moleboheng Mafata, Gladys Ntondini, Grace Nyasha Hondo, Naume Gwengwe, Lungelwa Dangatye and Michael Pekaan.

The remains of the murdered women, who he lured with either false job opportunities or declarations of love, were found in open fields in the different towns.

Pekaan, the only man murdered by Mudyiwayana, was found inside his home. His fridge, DSTV decoder, three television sets, a lawnmower, a new pair of work boots, a pair of training shoes, a DVD player, bedding and a matric ball dress were stolen from the house.

Most of the victims died due to blunt force trauma.

During his testimony, Mudyiwayana claimed the crimes were caused by some spiritual black magic “muti” influence cast over him. He alleged that while under its influence he was unable to function and was rendered powerless so he was unable to stop doing what he was doing.

During sentencing, Judge Derek Wille declared that Mudyiwayana deserved to be permanently removed from society. He said gender-based violence in South Africa has reached pandemic proportions.

“In my view, an unambiguous message needs to be sent to the offenders who participate in gender-based violence and crime. The circumstances of this particular case demand that the offender, for all practical purposes, is permanently removed from society.

“Further, without rehabilitation, I do not envisage how parole would be appropriate in the circumstances of this case, this is however an issue for the prison authorities,” Wille said.

During aggravation of sentence, senior State prosecutor advocate Megan Blows called several witness, including a forensic investigation and investigative psychologist with 28 years experience, Lieutenant-Colonel Elmarie Myburgh, who declared Mudyiwayana a serial killer motivated by power, control and excitement.

Blows said Mudyiwayana has never shown remorse for the crimes he perpetrated and he showed no empathy towards the victims or their families.

She said he showed no emotion when speaking about his crimes and continues to remain unwilling to accept responsibility for his crimes; instead, he blamed them on muti he allegedly used, which made him commit them.

“He exhibited no empathy towards the victims and lacked remorse or guilt for his actions. His demeanour can be described as arrogant and dismissive, as he showed no concern for his current legal situation.

“The author found him to be manipulative and deceitful, and lying comes easy to him.

“International literature indicates that serial offenders, and in particular serial murderers, cannot be rehabilitated and that there are no specific nor widely accepted successful rehabilitation programmes for serial offenders.

“As a result, numerous examples exist of offenders who, when released from prison, continue to re-offend.

“The accused’s history of manipulation, denial of responsibility and lack of insight reduce his rehabilitation prospects and the possibility that he can benefit from interventions at this time,” Blows submitted.

She thanked the investigating officer in the case, Warrant Officer Suzette Lourens, and all other officers for their sterling work.

The Director of Public Prosecutions, advocate Nicolette Bell, applauded the court for the fitting sentence handed down to the accused.

Bell congratulated police and the prosecution team for a great job which led to the appropriate sentence.

“Your work will continue to bring positive results and hope to victims of crimes and confidence to the justice system of this country.

“We pass our condolences to the families of the victims of these heinous crimes. We know it’s been years since these incidents happened, your wounds have not yet healed, but we hope you will find solace knowing that the accused has been sent to prison for a very long time,” Bell said.

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