THEY were guilty as charged yesterday – on a collective 63 counts.
Booi Makhubela, 50, and his son Rodgers, 26, from Alexandra, stood up, sombre and in unison, to face their fate in the Johannesburg High Court.
Judge Ronald Sutherland
found Booi guilty of:
l 14 counts of rape;
l Six of robbery with aggravated circumstance;
l Nine of kidnapping; and
l One of robbery.
Rodgers was found guilty of:
l 12 counts of rape;
l Seven of robbery with aggravated circumstances;
l Two of kidnapping; and
l One of robbery
As he handed down judgment
, Judge Sutherland described the pair as “critically compromised” as he rejected all their respective testimony.
The judge said Booi had taken a “leadership role in instructing his companions”, luring the victims into a false sense of security as they boarded his minibus taxi and making the complainants “accessible to his accomplices”.
He concluded that the father “played an active role in facilitating the rapes”, and the fact that he left his accomplices with the victims on two separate occasions “does not exonerate him from the crimes”.
Judge Sutherland validated the duo’s modus operandi and called their crime spree a “planned operation”.
The judge examined, among others, the following key evidence to arrive at his judgment:
l That the sex workers (as claimed by the Makhubelas) sought to extort a high fee from them was implausible, “even more spectacular are those who parted on good terms – why would they later lay charges?
(The Makhubelas had testified that the women were seeking revenge because they had refused to pay the women more money than was initially charged).
l That all 10 complainants have denied having consensual sex with the accused;
l That nine out of 10 complainants invented an elderly person was improbable;
l That all 10 women who had never met each other could share similar striking stories;
l That the complainants’ version was collaborated by either a witness, medical reports and police officers; and
l That the modus operandi was strongly established.
“The 10 complainants’ versions are collaborated and accepted.
“Your testimonies are rejected as improbable. I therefore find you guilty as charged,” Judge Sutherland said.
Both defence counsels submitted to the judge that they would be bringing a witness tomorrow before sentencing was passed.
Booi’s wife, who is Rodgers’s mother, will be called in to testify in mitigation of sentence.
The two accused have no previous convictions.