How serial rapist lured victims
For 10 years Mongezi Samuel Jingxela trudged up the dusty, yellow, hot and hostile dumps that overlook Johannesburg: with him walked scores of women. Were they beguiled by his promises or fearful of his wrath?
Once on the summits he raped them robbed them and left them to find their way home.
In the past year the 38-year-old Jingxela of Meadowlands, Soweto, has listened as 58 of his victims testified about their rapes. Each one of the 71 counts of rape, 64 of kidnapping, 62 of aggravated robbery, 61 of assault, one of attempted murder, and one of indecent assault have been tested in tearful testimony. Among the 261 charges he faced was one of escaping from lawful custody.
The final toll: The Johannesburg High Court found him guilty on 229 counts on Thursday.
Jingxela was initially caught in the act during his first attack in the bush near the mine dump on the N1 highway. He and a friend were raping two women in the bush when police pounced on them.
Both were taken into custody.
His friend was kept in jail and sentenced to four years for rape while Jingxela was released on bail of R1 000 by the Johannesburg magistrate's court.
He never returned to court to answer to the allegation. He skipped his bail and moved out of the house where he lived in Mokoena Street, Orlando East, in Soweto.
Police lost track of him and the court issued a warrant for his arrest.
But Jingxela was operating right under the noses of the police officers.
He was now staying in Msimang Street, a few blocks away from where he originally lived, and continued to rape and rob his victims.
A number of officers were appointed to investigate the serial rapes, including supercop Director Piet Byleveld. However the breakthrough happened after August 5 2004 when Captain Zakhele Zwane traced a victim's cellphone and found it in possession of Jingxela's estranged wife.
Zwane took The Star team along the routes on which Jingxela committed his crimes, where the women would first follow him optimistically and then flee in terror.
He took us to the spot where Jingxela raped his first victim and which he continued to use, though not exclusively, throughout his rape spree. Thick thorny bushes and tree stumps mark the site of this first rape.
Some of the trees have been cut down following the rapes.
We stood for a few minutes at that lonely spot and realised the isolation and fear that the women must have felt as they tried to escape the clutches of their rapist.
But this was not his only lair.
Zwane took us to a former mine dump, now flattened.
Women were raped here when it was still intact, he said.
While there, we were reminded of the testimony of one of the victims.
The woman - a 25-year-old girlfriend of a well-known former soccer star - told how the rape almost ruined her modelling career. She was the 54th complainant to testify. Jingxela, whom she described as friendly, offered her a "job" at a sportswear company.
"Somehow he managed to convince me," she said.
She said they walked for a long time.
While they were walking in the veld, he grabbed her from behind.
"He told me to keep quiet (because) if I did anything he had friends there and they would come and rape me."
Jingxela then pulled off her pants. "I told him I had Aids and 'if you rape, you will get it'. He said he didn't care."
He raped her before taking R300 in cash and a cellphone from her.
"I stopped modelling. I cancelled all my jobs."
Far from the catwalk, our trip took us down Main Reef Road to Robertville, an industrial area west of Johannesburg.
The walk up the dump would take the energy of mountain climber Sibusiso Vilane.
How did Jingxela persuade his victim to join him at the summit?
"This is where he raped his victim. The woman then went to a nearby factory and asked for help. They gave her taxi fare and told her to report the matter to the police."
And yet another dump awaited us. Steep, hot and dry. Zwane took us to a lone tree at the top of the dump.
"This is where Jingxela raped his victim. In this same area, we found a tissue which Jingxela used. We took the tissue to the forensic laboratory for tests and it turned out positive."
Again we were reminded of the testimony in court; similar stories from different women.
The 10th woman to testify explained she had been a virgin. Sobbing bitterly, she said Jingxela had introduced himself as Musa and offered her a part-time job at a sportswear company at Southgate Mall.
The two then walked from Park Station to Crown Mines, south of the city. Once they reached the Crown Mines area, Jingxela grabbed her from behind and asked her to remove her clothes.
"He became aggressive and swore at me. He threw me to the ground," explained the young woman. Jingxela then raped her and fled the scene.
I kept on asking: How did Jingxela convince his victims to join him on top of this mine dump only to violate them.
Did he use muti?
It was clear that Jingxela knew the dumps and his escape was easy as he lived close to them.
After raping his victims, Jingxela could run home as most of the dumps are near where he lived.
It was at his Meadowlands home that he was finally arrested.
This was after one of the woman in Zwane's team, Thobeka Nkosi, managed to convince Jingxela's wife to give her their home address. She pretended to be their family's long-lost friend.
Zwane and Nkosi's plan worked out. The police waited for him to arrive home - realising as they clamped on the handcuffs that he had just raped another woman - the last of his 10-year spree.
Nabbed by the cellphone
- Jingxela was re-arrested on August 5 2004 by Captain Zakhele Zwane but escaped on September 2.
- Zwane again used Jingxela's wife to trace him. While she was in police custody, Jingxela phoned and told her where he was. It took police a few hours to re-arrest him.
- He now will go to jail for life. - Additional reporting by Siyabonga Mkhwanazi