The suspect posed as a gardener and then lured the women to cane fields and allegedly assaulted, robbed them
Durban – Desperate for employment to provide for their children, six women followed a man, believing he would find them jobs, only to be raped.
The women were all victims of alleged serial rapist Frans Mahuman, and were attacked at the same spot in sugar cane fields in the Ballito area in 2016 and 2017.
Mozambican national Mahuman apparently posed as a gardener to his victims and promised them he could find them jobs in Ballito. On their way there, he would allegedly use a secluded route through the cane fields and rape them.
He is facing charges of rape, attempted rape, robbery and kidnapping, and entering the country illegally. Mahuman, 32, pleaded guilty to the charge of entering the country illegally at the start of his trial
Senior State advocate Noxolo Dube is expected to lead DNA evidence, and evidence from an identity parade that links him to the cases.
Mahuman also faces four other charges in Johannesburg, where he is alleged to have started his rape spree.
The victims told the court they would travel with Mahuman on public transport to Ballito, but would then walk through the fields, believing it was the way to the residential area where they would find jobs.
Court proceedings were interrupted sporadically to allow the emotional victims time to compose themselves.
Two victims told the court they were excited that they were going to finally find employment, but ended up being raped – and robbed of their cellphones and money.
The investigating officer, Detective Warrant Officer Deepa Naidu, was able to link the six cases to Mahuman, who had been arrested after being assaulted by a mob in KwaDukuza.
Constable Mandlenkosi Nhleko told the court yesterday he had attended a crime scene in KwaDukuza where Mahuman was being assaulted.
While there he received a report by one of the women who claimed to be a rape victim of Mahuman’s. However, the case she had opened against Mahuman had never been investigated.
“The woman provided me with a case number. I then placed Mahuman under arrest in connection with the woman’s rape allegation,” he said.
The trial continues.