Judgment will be delivered on Thursday in the case of an alleged serial rapist Sibusiso Matshaya who is accused of raping six women including four schoolgirls, around Vereeniging in the Vaal.
He faces six rape charges and one of kidnapping.
The court has heard how, between 2016 and 2019, Matshaya would wait for open veldts where he allegedly targeted women and young girls walking alone.
He would accost them, threaten them with a firearm or a knife, and drag them into the bush before raping them.
Suspect denies allegations
The state says Matshaya’s testimony that he had consensual sex with some of the victims is because he realises that there’s DNA evidence linking him to the crimes.
The court heard how the four learners held on to each other as the accused allegedly took turns sexually assaulting and raping them in the bushes.
However Matshaya’s lawyer, Phineas Mohlabane, maintains that his client is innocent of all the rapes, sexual assault and kidnapping charges.
The judge asked him to comment on the injuries sustained by the learners which were highlighted in a medical report which also confirmed that penetration did take place.
Mohlabane retorted that anything could have happened to them before they even met Matshaya on that day.
Criticism over sexual offences conviction rate
According to the 2020 World Population Review on Rape Statistics by country, South Africa has the highest rates of sexual violence in the world.
Many women in the country still do not report rape cases, out of fear of victimisation by their perpetrators or the courts.
In its latest annual report, the National Prosecuting Authority says it has achieved a 75.2% conviction rate for sexual offences.
It claims it’s the highest conviction rate in the past five years with a special focus placed on this category of crime.
However, the Women’s Legal Centre has criticised the NPA, saying that fewer cases have been finalised this year.