Girl, 11, nails rapist and killer of 2 women
NYIKO Ubisi probably thought he had escaped justice when a docket containing evidence against him on rape and murder charges went missing from Thembisa police station in 2005.
It took the dedication of a policeman from the Parktown organised crime unit to piece everything together, starting the investigation from scratch.
And that hard work by Warrant Officer Mishack Makhubu paid off this week when Ubisi was found guilty by the Johannesburg High Court.
Acting Judge Harold Knopp acknowledged Makhubu's hard work when he found Ubisi guilty of six of the 16 charges he faced, saying had it not been for the sharp-eyed officer, the case would not have gone to trial.
Makhubu, who arrested Ubisi at a roadblock, testified earlier that when he checked Ubisi on the police database he realised that the accused was a wanted man.
Makhubu also told the court that a docket containing all evidence against Ubisi had been destroyed.
Ubisi was initially charged with three counts of murder, three of attempted murder, one count of rape, eight counts of unlawful possession of a firearm and one count of unlawful possession of ammunition.
The court found him guilty on two counts of murder, the rape charge and three counts that include possession of an unlawful firearm and ammunition.
In 2008, Ubisi went to the flat of Nomonde Selaledi in Hospital View, Thembisa, and told her to drop the rape case against him.
Selaledi had earlier thrown a party for her friend Nomusa Seetness Selumo, who had slept there with her daughter.
The girl, who was eight years old at the time, testified that the three were asleep at about 3am when Ubisi came to the flat. She was woken up by an argument.
She said the argument, which lasted for about 30 minutes, was about a rape charge Selaledi had earlier laid against Ubisi.
The girl said Ubisi wanted Selaledi to drop the case and when she refused, he shot her five times.
"He then proceeded to the bedroom where my mom was sleeping and shot her once in the head."
Judge Knopp said the girl's testimony was credible and that he accepted it.
"It is a fact that the girl's mother's friend had opened a case of rape against Ubisi and the fact that the little girl knew that information means that indeed the two argued about it. This is not the kind of information that a child could have known."
The judge said testimony by the girl that her mother was shot in the head while facing down was confirmed by a postmortem report.
The girl also said Selaledi was shot five times and a postmortem report indicated that she was shot several times.
The girl also managed to identify Ubisi as the killer within 15 seconds of the identity parade in Thembisa.
This article was first published in the printed newspaper 4 July 2012