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‘Sunday rapist’ to call alibi witnesses

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(File photo) Sunday rapist Johannes Jacobus Steyn. Photo: Mujahid Safodien

Palm Ridge, Alberton - A high court judge advised the alleged “Sunday rapist” Johannes Jacobus Steyn on Wednesday to find alibi witnesses, even though he insisted he did not want to force anyone to testify for him.

“The matter is postponed until Friday for you to find the witnesses,” Judge Sita Kolbe said in the High Court, sitting in the Palm Ridge Magistrate's Court in Alberton.

She said she was happy to make any order to ensure the witnesses testified.

His defence planned to call a former colleague of Steyn's. Steyn claimed he helped him with his car on the day a 16-year-old girl was kidnapped and raped in Rustenburg in 2010.

His brother, his father, and a former mistress would also be called to testify about his whereabouts on days his alleged victims were attacked.

Steyn has pleaded not guilty to two counts of murder, 11 of rape, 10 of sexual assault, 10 of kidnapping, one of attempted sexual assault, and one of attempted kidnapping.

Prosecutor Carina Coetzee put it to Steyn that he would not call any alibi witnesses because they did not exist.

Steyn replied: “They are scared of the media, they are scared of the cameras. This is my battle and I must fight it.”

“They exist in your head,” Coetzee said.

The State finished its three-day-long cross-examination of Steyn on Wednesday afternoon.

Steyn started crying when he testified about his affairs with prostitutes.

“My marriage bed was special to me up to a point. After that, not so much.”

He said he had sex with a prostitute at his house on October 12, 2011, the day teenager Louise de Waal was kidnapped and murdered. Coetzee asked why, when he took some prostitutes to his house they had sex only in the living room, but on that day they also went to his bedroom.

Steyn started crying while he explained that his marriage had deteriorated since 2011.

He said he had removed his wedding picture and the Bibles next to the bed. He said he still felt too guilty to have sex on his bed and they decided to leave.

This was when he took the prostitute to an abandoned holiday resort in Maropeng, the area where De Waal's burned body was found, Steyn testified.

Coetzee asked Steyn, who has denied being the “Sunday rapist”, how he would describe a person who kidnapped, raped and in some cases murdered teenage girls.

“Desperate maybe... maybe someone who doesn't have much feeling for other people. I don't know. I'm not someone who judges other people too quickly,” he answered.

Coetzee expressed scepticism when Steyn said he had not thought about the “Sunday rapist” often. She asked how this was possible if the man had caused Steyn to be incarcerated for almost a year.

He said it felt as if he was being punished for cheating on his wife and that it was time to get closer to God. He had not really given it much thought.

Coetzee asked if it did not bother him that this man was still free and could harm other children.

“I looked in the newspapers and I haven't seen anything since my arrest.”

She also asked if his feelings towards the perpetrator changed when he saw the nine victims during their testimony, and if he felt sorry for the girls.

“I didn't look at them much. I was making notes,” he said at first.

He then admitted such a man probably had a problem.

“I did feel sorry for (the girls). I went back (to the cells) and prayed for them, for him (the rapist), for myself and for lots of other people.”

Throughout cross-examination, Coetzee asked Steyn why he was always in the vicinity where each of the girls were kidnapped and assaulted.

Steyn has given numerous alibis, varying from affairs with prostitutes to helping friends tow their cars.

“On 10 instances you are at the same place, at the same time, on the same day as the so-called 'Sunday rapist'. Don't you find it strange?” Coetzee asked him.

At first he did not want to comment, but later agreed it was a concern to him.

She said no other conclusion could be reached than that he must be the “Sunday rapist”.

“You could probably make that assumption,” he said.

She asked him what he thought the chances were that he and the rapist were at the same places on the same days, drove the same cars, and that the rapist found Steyn's house to dump De Waal's school bag in his rubbish bin.

“It is a coincidence,” Steyn replied.

“The only coincidence is that your son's birthday is on the same day as Louise de Waal's,” Coetzee said.

“You are the 'Sunday rapist,” she told him.

“I deny this,” Steyn said. - Sapa


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