The final moments of a sex worker who was raped and killed, allegedly by a 21-year-old man in Johannesburg, have been described by her friend and co-worker.
Witness Miss A, a sex worker, was testifying against accused murderer and rapist Sifiso Mkhwanazi at the Johannesburg High Court, which was convened at Palm Ridge magistrate’s court on Monday.
Miss A, who wore all black, had blood-red hair, and grey takkies, was the last person to see her deceased colleague Joyce Moyo alive.
Prosecutor Leswikwane Mashabela’s cross-examination of Miss A revealed that she last saw Moyo on October 2 at about 7pm, when a white bakkie pulled up across the road.
The white bakkie
“I walked to a white bakkie when I was called, that was 6m away from where I was standing,” Miss A testified.
“The client then called for Joyce, who was standing behind me. I alerted her that she was being requested, and she got into the white bakkie where they had a conversation.
“I could not hear the conversation, but I could see them from where I was standing. I do not know the male who was in the car, but I can describe how he looks.
“She got out of the car to take her bag, and she left in the white bakkie.”
Later in the week, Miss A reported that she received a call regarding Joyce’s whereabouts from Grace Moyo, the deceased’s sister, who said that her phone was ringing and no one was answering.
The 21-year-old admitted in an admission that he killed six sex workers as payback for their demands for more money.
He disputes the accusation of rape, claiming that the sex was consensual, and he denies that any of the killings were planned.
Mkhwanazi faces six charges of murder and seven charges of rape, among others.
Miss A, who had been in business for three years on Goud Street in the heart of Johannesburg before the incident, explained how the sex work industry operates.
How sex trade is conducted
According to her, negotiations take place when a client requests something beyond what was first agreed upon, and the price of the desired service is decided upon before the service is provided.
She held back the tears while speaking about her late colleague.
Mashabela asked if Miss A had visited the location where Joyce had been discovered. Rumours of dead bodies being discovered surfaced a week later.
“On October 9, we heard word from other sex workers that bodies were discovered at a factory,” she testified.
“When we arrived, and I cannot recall the time, there were so many cars, and the place was closed off with tape.
“The car that picked Joyce up was also parked there. Joyce’s sister saw me and told the police that I was the last to see her sister, and that is when I identified her and gave my statement.”
Mkhwanazi, dressed in a grey and black jacket, sat on the dock with chains attached to his feet. He was rather uneasy as he rocked his legs on the seat and rubbed his hands during the proceedings.
Mkhwanazi also struggled to maintain his composure and avoided looking up or making eye contact at all during Miss A’s testimony.
His lawyer, Vuyo Maqetuka, will proceed with the cross-examination of Miss A on Tuesday.
The bodies of the six sex workers were found at Mkhwanazi’s father, Mark Khumalo’s panel-beating workshop in Johannesburg.
A week ago, the court held a trial-within-a-trial to look into the admissibility of Mkhwanazi’s confession to his father.
Shortly before Miss A, Khumalo returned to the witness stand to continue his testimony.
Khumalo expressed his displeasure at learning about his son’s actions when Mashabela questioned him about the veracity of his son’s confession.
His son informed him that there were dead cats in the workshop when he inquired about the smell.
“I looked at him and said, ‘tell me the truth’. I believe his confession because if he did not tell me the truth, I would not be sitting here and testifying.”
Father’s gun used to commit a crime
According to the accused’s admission to the police, he killed one of the sex workers by breaking into his father’s safe, which contained his gun.
During the defence attorney’s cross-examination, Khumalo stated that he always kept his safe keys on him.
Khumalo further disclosed that a second gun was discovered on his land when his son was being arrested.
He also revealed to the court that the accused sister discovered two cellphones, a Nokia and a Siemens, when she borrowed his bag.