Johannesburg Court Finds Man Guilty in Serial Murder Case of Six Zimbabwean Sex Workers

March 13, 2024
sifiso | Report Focus News
Johannesburg Court Finds Man Guilty in Serial Murder Case of Six Zimbabwean Sex Workers

In a ruling that captured the nation’s attention, 21-year-old Sifiso Mkhwanazi was found guilty of the murders of six Johannesburg sex workers, a case that has highlighted grave concerns about violence against women in South Africa. The Gauteng High Court in Palm Ridge was the scene of intense emotions as Judge Cassim Moosa delivered a scathing judgment against Mkhwanazi, condemning his actions as premeditated and meticulously planned.

The courtroom, packed with the grieving families of the victims, all of whom were from Zimbabwe, watched as Mkhwanazi remained stoic and emotionless, offering no reaction as the weight of his crimes was laid bare. “I rejected the version of the accused as beyond false,” Judge Moosa stated, declaring Mkhwanazi’s intentions to kill as deliberate and calculating.

The verdict follows a detailed examination of evidence, including the chilling fact that Mkhwanazi had unlawful sexual intercourse with each of the victims before murdering them and attempting to obstruct justice by concealing their bodies. The prosecution argued that Mkhwanazi’s actions were not only heinous but also indicative of a dangerous pattern of targeting vulnerable individuals.

In an attempt to provide a comprehensive sentencing, Prosecutor Leswikane Mashabela announced the State’s intention to conduct a mental assessment of Mkhwanazi at Sterkfontein Psychiatric Hospital, highlighting the brutal nature of the crimes and the clear risk Mkhwanazi poses to society. This assessment aims to ensure the court can impose an appropriate sentence, though it will not affect the conviction itself.

Judge Moosa found Mkhwanazi guilty on multiple counts, including six counts of murder, rape, defeating the ends of justice, and illegal possession of firearms and ammunition. However, he was acquitted of robbery with aggravating circumstances, with a conviction on an alternative charge of theft relating to a cellphone belonging to one of the victims.

This case has shed light on the dangers faced by sex workers and the broader issue of violence against women in South Africa. As the nation waits for the final sentencing, following Mkhwanazi’s mental evaluation, there is a collective call for justice and measures to protect the most vulnerable in society.

Mkhwanazi’s conviction marks a significant moment in South Africa’s legal history, emphasizing the judiciary’s stance on crimes against women and the importance of safeguarding human rights. As the legal process moves forward, the families of the victims and the nation at large look for closure and steps toward preventing such tragedies in the future.