Man linked to 13 rapes

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Durban - A police forensic analyst has testified that DNA samples taken from 13 minor rape victims matched the blood sample of the alleged serial rapist.

At the start of his trial in November last year, Sipho Alfred Mdluli, 46, of Ntuzuma, pleaded not guilty to the 13 counts of rape that occurred between 2004 and 2012.

It has been alleged the victims were lured into bushes while on their way to or from a tuck shop.

The suspect allegedly asked them for help to collect herbs for a pregnant woman.

Mdluli was first arrested in 2011, when a victim had spotted him in her area and informed her grandmother, who gather-ed people to find him.

This week in the Durban Regional Court, Captain Clement Mitchel said at the time the rape had been reported, samples, underwear and swabs were taken from the victims.

These samples were analysed and then captured on the police’s national forensic database.

“At that time, the suspect was unknown,” said Mitchel.

He explained that in 2011 a blood samplehad been taken from Mdluli when a young girl reported to the Cato Manor SAPS that she had been raped. Mdluli was arrested on the same day.

“This blood sample was compared with the victim’s swab sample and it was a match. This controlled blood sample was then stored on the national database and our system reflected hits or matches with other victims’ samples on the database.”

He said a DNA hit report was issued to the investigating officer to inform him of the other case matches.

“We asked for a confirmation blood sample to confirm the matches in the other cases.”

They received this through a rape case that was reported at the Ntuzuma SAPS, and a blood sample was taken from Mdluli.

Mitchel had provided a report detailing the individual DNA samples taken in each of the 13 counts and how each matched the blood sample taken from the suspect.

Cases were reported in Ntuzuma, KwaMashu, Inanda, Cato Manor and Phoenix between 2004 and 2012. All the girls were under 16. The youngest was seven.

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