'One mindset killed 16'

Only one person is responsible for the murder of 16 women in the Olievenhoutbosch area, an expert witness told the Pretoria high court yesterday.

Only one person is responsible for the murder of 16 women in the Olievenhoutbosch area, an expert witness told the Pretoria high court yesterday.

Dr Gerhard Labuschagne, head of the investigative psychology unit of the police, was testifying in the trial of murder accused Richard Jabulani Nyauza.

Labuschagne said the 16 women - whose bodies were discovered near Olievenhoutbosch and the Rossway Quarry in 2002 and last year - were, in his opinion, murdered by the same offender with a specific mind-set.

"These crimes were the work of one individual. It's for the court to determine who is responsible," Labuschagne said.

Nyauza has denied guilt to 24 charges, ranging from 16 of murder, rape, robbery and attempted murder. The first five bodies were discovered in 2002 and 11 more were discovered last year.

The court heard evidence that Nyauza had been in jail between 2002 until the end of 2005 for raping a woman.

A woman yesterday alleged in court that Nyauza, 36, had in August last year offered her a lift, then brutally stabbed her with a screwdriver, tried to strangle her and took off her panties before leaving her for dead.

Asked about Nyauza's laughter during this testimony, Labuschagne said it would not surprise him if Nyauza reacted that way, as persons who committed these types of crimes often lacked empathy or sympathy for other people.

The trial continues. - Sapa

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