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Pretoria - While admitting he raped 10 women in Mamelodi East and robbed most of them, a serial rapist is adamant that, contrary to claims by the victims, he did not use weapons during the attacks.
Neatly dressed and well presented, Eric Rudzani Ndou pleaded guilty to the 10 rape charges. He also confessed to some of the 12 robbery and theft charges against him but, when questioned by Judge Mmonoa Teffo, denied he had used a firearm or a knife during these robberies.
The judge convicted him on the 10 rape charges, but entered pleas of not guilty for the rest of the charges. She told the State to call witnesses if it wanted to prove Ndou, 34, had used weapons during the attacks.
Ndou waged a reign of terror for two years in Mamelodi East before being arrested. He raped his first victim on April 4, 2009, in her home. Others were attacked on their way to work, a clinic or home.
His victims sat together outside the courtroom on Wednesday, waiting to testify about their nightmare ordeals.
The first to face her attacker was a young Mamelodi East girl, who said she was asleep on the morning of her attack. “I heard a noise in the house and I woke up. I saw an unknown face busy packing my belongings. He told me to keep quiet and to get back into bed.”
Ndou then raped her. “When he was done, I felt something against my neck. I could not see the object, but it felt like a knife. He said if I got up, he would stab me.”
She sat in bed for five minutes and then went to her neighbour to seek help.
They could not proceed with the girl’s evidence as the court was suddenly blanketed in darkness as a power failure hit the CBD.
Correctional Services officials, who had been closely guarding Ndou - as he is a sentenced prisoner on unrelated charges - quickly moved in closer and surrounded him in the pitch-black dock. Another came running up to them, providing a small ray of light from his cellphone, before the court was adjourned.
The State is expected to hear the evidence of the other victims on Thursday.
Most have the same tale to tell of a neatly dressed man who approached them. One said she was on her way to a bus stop when Ndou stopped her and took her jewellery and cellphone. She was dragged into a field and raped. The only part Ndou does not agree with is that he was carrying a firearm.
Another was allegedly robbed of her shoes and cash after being raped. She also said a firearm was used. Another said she was threatened with a knife before being raped and robbed. The State says a knife or a firearm was used in all cases to threaten the victims.