Rape victim claims R10m from police
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Pretoria - A woman student who was stabbed 22 times and raped by the notorious “Tukkie-rapist”, has lodged a R10.6 million damages claim against the police and the prosecuting authority, arguing that they had failed to protect the public against a dangerous criminal.
She claimed in papers before the North Gauteng High Court that she would never have been raped had the State taken due care not to free Samuel Tsietsi Msiza on bail in connection with earlier offences.
It was while he was roaming the streets free that he attacked and raped her. Msiza was facing an array of charges, including a number of rapes, when he raped the woman in October 2011 in her Sinoville townhouse. Last week, Msiza was sentenced in the lower court to life imprisonment, plus an additional 40 years for the brutal attack on the Tuks student, who is now 24.
He first stabbed her 22 times with a knife in her face and across her body. Eight of the wounds were potentially fatal and the point of the blade was stuck in her skull. It later had to be removed surgically. While she was bleeding and unconscious, Msiza raped her.
It has now emerged that Msiza had a long criminal history, for which he was either not prosecuted or the State dragged its heels in finalising. The allegations against him ranged from that he raped several children, to that he had sex with the corpse of a person he had allegedly killed.
For the latter attack, Msiza was due to stand trial in the High Court in Mafikeng, but the State decided to withdraw the charges against him.
The victim, in her damages claim, said Msiza should have been behind bars long ago. She said the State and the police had a duty to protect citizens against people like him. Instead, Msiza had been granted bail by a magistrate in January 2010 - a year-and-a-half prior to the Tukkie rape and while he was awaiting trial over a string of other rapes and crimes. The reason was that he had been awaiting trial in jail since 2004 on the other charges, which had not got off the ground.
The investigating officer in those cases did not bother to come to court to tell the magistrate that Msiza was in fact facing many other charges. By the time he applied for bail he had already been convicted of assault in 1998.
He was charged with housebreaking the following year, and theft a year after that. He was charged with committing rape in 2001, another rape in March 2002 and a third rape in August of that year. These rapes involved children.
He was again charged in March 2010 with murder and rape, and subsequently with being in possession of a semi-automatic pistol.
The Tukkie victim, in her damages claim, said both the police and the NPA should have been aware of these facts when Msiza applied for bail in January 2010. He applied for bail while appearing before a magistrate on one of his rape charges.
In the absence of the investigating officer, Msiza swore that he only faced the one charge and the unsuspecting magistrate granted bail. This was because he had been in jail for a long time, awaiting trial.
Msiza was granted R1 000 bail, coupled with conditions such as that he had to report to the police station every Monday. The investigating officer also did not bother do ensure that he complied with these bail conditions.
The student is blaming both the police and the NPA for not doing their job in placing all the facts before the court and for allowing the other cases to drag on.
Following her attack, the student was in hospital for a long time fighting for her life. Her parents spent hundreds of thousands of rand on reconstructive surgery.
On Monday, following some negotiations between her team and those of the police and the National Prosecuting Authority, an agreement was reached, but it was declared “confidential” and its details may not be published.