Man dubbed Sunday serial killer ‘targeted’ Zimbabwean prostitutes

A sex worker who escaped from the alleged Sunday serial killer Sifiso Mkhwanazi unharmed was a South African citizen.

Sergeant Bongani Mbonambi, the investigating officer, said this while testifying in the murder trial of Mkhwanazi at the Johannesburg High Court sitting in the Palm Ridge magistrate’s court on Monday.

The state is arguing that the 21-year-old Mkhwanazi only targeted sex workers who hail from Zimbabwe.

This follows the discovery that the three bodies identified by DNA testing were all from Zimbabwe.

Murders were not premeditated

Mkhwanazi has acknowledged that he killed each of the six prostitutes. However, he denied that the murders were premeditated.

He has pleaded not guilty to seven counts of rape, six counts of murder, and six counts of defeating the ends of justice, among others.

Last week, Mbonambi said the DNA samples were taken from the identified bodies of Chihota Nyarai, Patricia Magaiza, and Joyce Moyo.

The bodies were compared with those of family members, and all came back positive. The police found condoms, underwear, and blood when combing through the murder scene.

On Monday, prosecutor advocate Leswikane Mashabela asked if Mbonambi could comment on the nationality of the deceased.

Mbonambi claimed that Mkhwanazi picked up a South African sex worker, but she was unharmed or robbed.


Time in jail for alleged rape

He added that, in Mkhwanazi’s admission, these killings were for revenge.

Previously, the court heard that Mkhwanazi spent 10 months in jail after a Zimbabwean sex worker opened a rape case against him. The women later withdrew the case.

The state maintains that Mkhwanazi took the victims to a location where he could do with them as he pleased, planned the murders, and raped the victims.

Following a minimum of two weeks of the trial, the court heard the final portions of Mbonambi’s testimony during a cross-examination with Vuyo Maqetuka, the defence attorney.

Mkhwanazi appeared in court spotting a fresh haircut and dressed in a black sweater, khaki pants, navy socks, and slippers. He had cuffs around his ankles.

He appeared extremely uncomfortable once more and placed his right hand on his head as soon as he entered the dock.

The gallery had a handful of sex workers who attended Monday’s trial.

Contrary to the admission that Mkhwanazi made, Mbonambi argued that consensual sex is nullified as Mkhwanazi pretended to be an innocent regular client.

Going to a fishing pond

In the first parts of Mbonambi’s testimony, he described Mkhwanazi’s visits to the sex workers as “going to a fishing pond to take whatever fish he liked”.

Mbonambi once again dismissed Mkhwanazi’s admission before the court, stating that he tailored the admission to run away from certain charges.

“The only person who could tell us exactly what happened failed to do so. Our [investigating officers’] conclusion is not far-fetched,” Mbonambi said.

The defence is expected to make a 174 application, which is made by the defence to drop some of the charges against Mkhwanazi.

Judge Cassim Moosa approved the request, stating that both the defence and the prosecutor will present arguments before the court.

The trial has been postponed to Wednesday.

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