Alleged rapist 'a common sight'

Khanyisile Nkosi

Khanyisile Nkosi

A witness has told of how he often saw alleged serial rapist Mongezi Jinxela wandering in the open veld near Riverlea, Johannesburg.

Richard Taaibos told the Johannesburg high court yesterday that he regularly saw Jinxela when he went to collect scrap metal in the veld.

"We used to greet each other in Afrikaans," said Taaibos.

Jinxela, 39, of Meadowlands, Soweto, is alleged to have raped 65 women over 10 years. He allegedly approached them and offered them work at a factory.

The state alleges that Jinxela convinced the women to go with him to the factory but took them to deserted places around Johannesburg where he raped them, some more than once, before fleeing with their belongings.

He has pleaded not guilty to 271 charges, including 71 counts of rape.

Taaibos, who assisted a woman, allegedly one of Jinxela's victims, said he saw Jinxela in the veld again on July 9 2004.

"He ran past me," he said.

Minutes later a young woman who was crying came towards him .

"She looked frightened and her clothes were dirty. She told me that the accused had robbed her of her cellphone," said Taaibos.

Advocate Harold Knopp, for Jinxela, said his client would deny being in the veld on July 9 2004.

The trial continues.