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Johannesburg - Nhlanhla Xaki may have been charged with sexually assaulting 11 women but the suspected serial rapist claims he has an excuse.

Each of the women were supposedly in a relationship with him at the time of their respective rapes and the sex was consensual.

Despite DNA evidence, and each of the victims set to testify against him - some of whom already took the stand at the high court in Joburg this week - and a common modus operandi between most of the cases, Xaki insists he is innocent.

Set out in state advocate Gertrude Market’s indictment, Xaki’s alleged four-year-long rape spree across Tembisa only concluded with his second arrest in 2015.

The state has alleged that in August 2011, Xaki knocked on the door of his first victim’s home in Tembisa, identifying himself as Prince. 

When she opened the door to answer his questions, he produced a knife, threatening her and demanding money.

After taking the small amount of money, he pushed her on to her bed and raped her. After telling her he “loved her”, he insisted on taking her cellphone number so he could stay in contact.

After the young woman reported him to the police, he was arrested, although he was subsequently released on bail in September.

It was almost a year later that he once again forced his way into another woman’s shack in Phomolong.

This time, armed with a firearm, Xaki allegedly robbed her of R500, raping her twice before fleeing the scene.

A month later in Mayibuye, Tembisa, another complainant was on her way home when Xaki allegedly approached her with a knife and forced her into an empty yard, where she too was raped.

Just over a week later, on August 18, 2012, he apparently once again knocked on the door of one of his victims in the same neighbourhood.

As he had knocked in a similar fashion to her husband, the young woman opened the door slightly and Xaki forced his way inside.

This time, apparently armed with a knife and screwdriver, he raped and robbed his victim, telling her not to reveal to her husband what had happened.

On May 18, Xaki broke into the home of three cousins in Mayibuye. Armed with his gun, he demanded money from them.

After ransacking their home, he allegedly took one of the young women with him at gunpoint to a home in the area, where he raped her.

Less than a month later, the next complainant was walking in a Phomolong street when she too was apparently approached by the accused. He was armed with a knife, and indicated he was also carrying a firearm on him.

He forced her to accompany him to an open field, where he allegedly raped her multiple times before stealing her cellphone.

In July that year, he once again grabbed a young woman on her way home in Phomolong at knifepoint, taking her to an abandoned yard, where he allegedly demanded money before sexually assaulting her.

The next month, Xaki and an unidentified accomplice attacked another woman walking through Mayibuye and threatened her with a knife and firearm. Dragging her to another yard, the pair took turns raping her.

On April 24, 2015, Xaki broke into another Phomolong home, where he was discovered by the female home owner.

He told her that his name was Prince and that he had been looking for her boyfriend, who owed him money.

Using a screwdriver as a weapon, he once again held the young woman hostage while ransacking her house before raping her. Afterwards, he forced her to take a bath before fleeing the scene.

A month later, he broke into yet another home in Phomolong. When the young woman inside told him she did not have any money to give him, he told her he now had to rape her. In this incident he again told his victim to take a bath after the rape before fleeing.

In June that year, he targeted yet another home in Phomolong, raping his final victim at knifepoint after waking her up by touching her shoulder. It was only in September 2015 that Xaki was rearrested.

This week at the high court in Joburg, while one of Xaki’s alleged victims testified in camera, a witness to two of the suspected serial rapist's attacks, was called.

The young man, who cannot be identified to avoid identifying the two victims he knew, was in a relationship with one of the complainants from Phomolong.

He told the court how, in 2013, the mother of his then two-month-old child had been forced into an empty yard and raped, allegedly by a man with a scar on his lip - the same as the accused.

When she arrived at his home to tell him, she was inconsolable. However, after he calmed her down, the pair told her parents what had happened and a police case was opened.

When cross-examined by Xaki’s lawyer, the young man insisted that it was impossible for Xaki to have been in a relationship with his victim at the time.

Between her recent childbirth, spending most of her time with her actual boyfriend, her sisters and parents, it was unlikely she would have the time to be in a relationship with the accused, he said.

However, the young man once again was witness to the aftermath of one of Xaki’s alleged rapes when his landlord’s girlfriend was also raped in June 2015. As he was the only one on the property at the time, he heard the young woman’s screams for help shortly after the rape.

Xaki had allegedly told the young woman that her boyfriend had slept with Xaki’s girlfriend, which was why he was forced to rape her. The young man also revealed to the court the young woman was pregnant at the time of rape.

The state looks set to conclude its case in the coming few weeks, although it’s unclear how many witnesses the defence will call or if Xaki himself will take the stand.

He has not, however, provided a plea explanation, with only his lawyer revealing to the court Xaki’s claims that he had been in relationships with the women. The trial continues.

Saturday Star