231210 A baby’s doll lies on the badly damaged wooden floor in the dilapidated Clarendon Home building. PICTURES: BONGANI MBATHA PICTURE BONGANI MBATHA

Convicted Hammanskraal serial rapist Dudu Simelane called on his mother to testify in the High Court in Pretoria on Thursday.

Simelane, 27, was representing himself after firing two Legal Aid lawyers.

His mother Trifina Simelane told the court she had been looking after her son's two children, now aged eight and nine, for several years, but had been battling since her son's arrest in 2010.

“I am a sick person and there's no-one to remain behind with the children when I am in hospital or have to go and get medicine,” she said.

“It is important that he (Simelane) should be at home to take care of the children because I am sick... They did not even go to school today because I'm not there.”

She said Simelane had not had a fixed income, but had given her money and helped with the children. She and the children survived on her pension and the child support grants she received.

Simelane was convicted by Judge Jody Kollapen on Thursday on 25 charges, including two of rape, three of sexual assault, five of abduction, two of extortion and five of robbery with aggravating circumstances.

Kollapen rejected Simelane's claims that the investigating officer framed him, and that he had not met any of the complainants except a young sales assistant, with whom he claimed to have had consensual sex.

The judge accepted the evidence of a series of women, who testified that Simelane had duped them into believing that he could find them jobs.

He arranged to meet the women in Pretoria, but then took them to places near Soshanguve where he robbed and usually raped or indecently assaulted them, and used their bankcards to withdraw money from their bank accounts.

In some of the cases, he extorted money from his victims' relatives while holding them hostage.

Over 40 witnesses testified for the State in the case, including Simelane's seven alleged victims.

The sales assistant testified that Simelane accompanied her to an office in Pretoria where he had set up a fake job interview.

He convinced her to accompany him on the pretext of going to buy a computer, but then dragged her into bushes near Makapanstad where he threatened her with a broken beer bottle and raped her.

He also forced her to phone her father to demand ransom money.

Later he held her captive in a house where he repeatedly raped, assaulted and threatened her with death.

He tied her up so tightly that she had no feeling in her hands for several months afterwards.

In his evidence, Simelane claimed that he and the woman had consensual sex once, and that it had been her idea to phone her father for money.

He denied ever tying her up and claimed the police who found her in the house must have done so.

He insisted that he had used a condom, said DNA evidence which linked him to her rape could not be true, and that the doctor who had confirmed her injuries was lying.

Kollapen postponed the trial to August 3 after Simelane told the court he wanted a pre-sentencing report so that he could “get counselling”.

The judge said the report could be of value in the light of the seriousness of Simelane's crimes. - Sapa