Top TV star among victims of 'worst serial rapist'

Khanyisile Nkosi

Khanyisile Nkosi

A top TV personality is among the 71 victims of South Africa's "worst serial rapist".

Most of the women, allegedly raped over the past 10 years, have pleaded with the Johannesburg high court not to reveal their identities.

This was revealed yesterday by investigating officer Captain Zakhele Zwane as the trial of alleged serial rapist Mongezi Jinxela began.

Jinxela, of Meadowlands in Soweto, is facing 261 charges. They include 71 counts of rape, 64 of kidnapping, 64 of aggravated robbery, 61 of assault, indecent assault, and of escaping from custody.

The lanky Jinxela, dressed in a blue shirt, a tie and a brown jacket, held his head high when he pleaded not guilty to all the charges yesterday.

When Zwane began his testimony Jinxela sat quietly in the dock and took notes.

Zwane was giving evidence in support of the state's application to hear the women's testimony in-camera.

Jinxela's defence counsel, advocate Harold Knopp, is opposing the application.

Zwane said all the women had asked that their identities be withheld when they testified in court.

Asked what the attitude of the TV star would be if her identity was revealed, Zwane said: "It will kill her."

Zwane said the women were still "severely traumatised", and still found it difficult to deal with the rapes. He said he found it difficult to consult with them.

"One of the complainants almost poured boiling water over me," he told the court.

He said the women had lost faith in the justice system because of the time that had elapsed before the perpetrator was brought to book.

"Most of them have started new lives. Some have since married and don't want their husbands to find out about the rapes," he said.

Some of the rapes happened when the victims were still at school.

"Their families were not told about the rapes," Zwane said.

Two victims had experienced problems with Jinxela since his arrest last year.

"After I gave him the indictment he started calling the complainants, pleading with them not to testify against him," Zwane said.

Zwane said some of the women were known to Jinxela's family and feared they might be victimised. About five lived in the same area as Jinxela's family.

Knopp will cross-examine Zwane today.