Swaziland : Serial Killer David Simelane Convicted of 28 Murders, Could Face DP

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Swazi serial killer could face death penalty

Published in: Legalbrief Today

Date: Fri 25 March 2011

Category: Criminal

Issue No: 2765

A Swazi man has been convicted of murdering 28 people, mostly women and children, making him the deadliest serial killer on record in the tiny African kingdom.

According to a report on the IoL site, David Simelane has spent a decade behind bars and his trial has dragged on over five years. Sentencing was set for 1 April, when Simelane could face death.

During the trial, Simelane claimed that he had confessed to the killing under duress, telling the court: 'Police kill people every day in this country.' His lawyer Mduduzi Mabila said he intended to appeal.

Other article : http://www.observer.org.sz/index.php?news=22727

Current Date/Time: Fri Mar 25 2011 16:22:19 GMT+0100


24 March, 2011 10:00:00

By Sabelo Mamba and Sibonginkosi Mamba

SERIAL killer David Thabo Simelane has been found guilty of murder. Simelane, who was facing murder 34 murder charges, was yesterday convicted of 28 counts. He will know his sentence next Friday.

He was acquitted on six after spending 10 years in custody without his unduly protracted trial brought to finality.

High Court Judge Jacobus Annandale based his 232-page bumper verdict on confession statements Simelane made to the late Manzini Magistrate Charles Masango and former Manzini Magistrate Nkosinathi Nkonyane (now Industrial Court Judge) after his arrest in April 2001 in Nhlangano.

Initially, Simelane was facing 35 murder charges. One was withdrawn by the Crown during the course of the trial.

High Court Judge Jacobus Annandale said the identification of personal property which used to belong to missing relatives that were recovered either in the immediate areas where the human remains were found or from a place where Simelane had taken the police to, "justifies the only reasonable conclusion that can be drawn the deceased persons are those lost relatives who used to own the personal belongings."

The judge also stated that it was clear that Simelane killed the women out of revenge after he was allegedly incarcerated for a rape he never committed. It is clear, the judge noted, Simelane was angry.


The judge said it was this body of evidence which proved the commissioning of the individual crimes, which Simelane confessed to, fortified by himself when he pointed out the different scenes to the police.

"When relatives positively swear to the fact that particular items used to belong to a missing person and it is not gainsayed, such uncontroverted evidence readily be dismissed at a whim," remarked the judge.

Justice Annandale observed that the well established patterns of evidence were present in all counts, from the very beginning when the female victims were enticed by the accused to take up employment somewhere.

He said a key witness in this trial was Detective Solomon Mavuso (PW 79).

"His evidence served to detail the overall process from the time when reports about missing persons started to escalate, the discovery of human remains in isolated areas, the collection of evidence which culminated in a firm description of the suspect person, then the events which followed after the arrest of the accused, the confession, pointing out, evidence gathering, the identification processes and ultimately the indictment of the accused. His evidence is voluminous and detailed," he said.

Simelane was represented by Mduduzi 'Tsotsi' Mabila while Director of Public Prosecutions Mumcy Dlamini appeared for the Crown.

David murdered victims out of revenge - Judge Annandale

DAVID Thabo Simelane murdered his victims out of revenge after being previously convicted for raping a woman, High Court Judge Jacobus Annandale accepts.

Remarked Justice Annandale; "Although the establishment of motive for the crime of murder does not carry remotely the same prominence in our law as contrast with American jurisprudence, the accused has volunteered his motive for the multiple murders as part of his confession."

The judge said Simelane, in his confession statement, said it was out of revenge for having been incarcerated for the crime of rape which he did not commit.

"He admits to having robbed the same woman but he says that he was grossly and unfairly treated by also having wrongly been convicted and imprisoned for having raped the same woman, hence his revenge," he said.

"The court accepts that he murdered the victims out of revenge. This dispels the often mooted diverse theories and speculation in the media that he had some more sinister motives, or that he was assisted by highly placed persons, or that he harvested body parts for equally sinister, undisclosed but highly placed individuals," said the judge.

Mabila to appeal

DAVID Simelane's lawyer Mduduzi Tsotsi Mabila has stated that he will appeal the verdict of the case of his client.
Simelane was found guilty of killing 28 women.

Mabila made his intentions known soon after judgment had been delivered. He argued that a suspect cannot be convicted on the basis of a confession.
"There must be evidence," he argued.

He further stated that the said confession was vague and was allegedly forged. He stated though that he was still going to go through the written judgment.

During trial, Simelane stated that he made the confession under duress.
He said police officers had told him what to say before the magistrate and threatened him with death if he ever deviated from what he had been ordered to say.

Simelane told the court that the late Superintendent Jomo Mavuso actually told him that he was going to die at the hands of the police if he did not admit to having killed the missing people.

According to Simelane, another top detective, the late Khethokwakhe Ndlangamandla, was annoyed when he found him alive at Sigodvweni police after being suffocated by police under his (Ndlangamandla) instruction.

...David was ready for verdict - Mabila

Mduduzi Mabila disclosed yesterday.
Mabila said his client was prepared for anything thing.

"I had indicated to him that there is no draw in a trial and he was ready," he revealed. Simelane was found guilty in 28 counts. At present, Mabila stated that he had the duty to explain to his client what the verdict means and what the next step is.

Senators share different views on David verdict

SENATORS expressed different views on serial killer David Simelane's guilty verdict.

Whilst Senator Victor Malambe said it would be unfair if the serial killer would be sentenced without him explaining why he killed the 28 women, Senator Moi Moi Masilela said lawyers dragged the case for personal gains. Some of the senators said justice has been delayed, stating that though it was a good thing that the case would be put to rest it was not going to bring total closure to the relatives.

Here is what the senators had to say:

Moi Moi Maselela - "David could have been charged for killing just one person. Lawyers delayed the case so that they would make money. Bebadla ngalo lelicala.We are hoping that there would be a fair sentence."

Victor Malambe -"David should explain why he killed those women so that the relatives would have closure. We want to know if he was sent by someone, what was pushing him behind, these are some of the questions that have to be answered."

Nozibele Bujela - "As a mother I am happy about the judgment but I am hoping that the sentence would also be satisfying. I believe that this shows that the case would be finally put to rest. as a woman I am happy because David targeted women. We are hoping that he would not be able to hurt anyone as he is going behind bars."

Winnie Nxumalo - "Mine is to say that justice delayed is justice denied. The justice that has been done might not serve the intended purpose, especially to the relatives. The justice system in this country is slow and we hope this would change soon. We hope the justice would speed up so that the sentences would be relevant."

Ndileka - "Glory be to God, we are very happy about the verdict. This judgment would not have been  possible if it was not for the power of God. We hope that the sentence would be passed soon and it would not be light."

Themba Msibi - "The fact that there is progress in the case is comforting. The case has dragged on for a long time and we are hoping no other case would drag for this long. We are just hoping that the sentence would be fair."

Edgar Hillary - "I will only be able to comment on the case once it has been finalised. I will reserve my comments for now."

'Late Khethokwakhe was an outstanding witness'

LATE police top Detective Senior Superintendent Khethokwakhe Ndlangamandla, who was killed in a car accident during the course of the trial, was one of the best witnesses to ever testify during David Simalane's trial.

The judge said Ndlangamandla was the officer-in charge of the investigation team while Sergeant Solomon Mavuso was a member.

He observed that Ndlangamandla's whole demeanour, cool calm and collected, radiated a confidence in the accuracy and veracity of his evidence like few others.

"He displayed a most remarkable capacity of memory to logically, chronologically and systematically testify as to the events he was called upon to present in court," he said.

"He was unfazed by numerous interruptions.  He was also subjected to an enormously protracted barrage of cross-examination, much of which was entirely irrelevant or which could not advance the matter any further. He was questioned in minute and often times repetitive details."

He said Ndlangamandla never lost his patience or displayed any detectable signs of annoyance, arrogance or impatience, giving full and comprehensive responses to everything he was asked.

"From time to time he asked of the court to refresh his memory from notes which he made at the time of the investigative process, which was repeatedly objected to by Mr. Howe (then defence counsel Lucky Howe)."

'Lucky Howe wrongly accused Ndlangamandla, Mavuso'

FORMER defence counsel Lucky Howe wrongly accused the late Khethokwakhe Ndlangamandla and Sergeant Solomon Mavuso at times of reading from their notes to accurately convey their evidence.

He said both Ndlangamandla and Mavuso were regularly castigated by counsel for their need to verify from notes which they personally made during the course of the investigation. "The duration of cross-examination of each of these two police officers was tedious and protracted as it ever could be, bordering on and often going beyond the point of badgering and simply exhausting an exacerbated witness," he remarked. "Despite this, both police officers never fell for the laborious trap which was being set up for them. Both continued to courteous, long suffering and consistent. Both left a lasting impression that the evidence which they gave can safely be relied upon as full and accurate renditions of what they came to testify about. "Most unfortunately, Mr. Ndlangamandla, who had entered retirement from the police service by the time he testified as witness, suffered serious health problems.

"He regularly had to undergo kidney dialysis in hospital to avoid renal failure. Despite this, his sense of duty prevailed and in cognisance of the importance of his evidence and his sense of duty, he attended court as often as he could and for as long as he could.

Judge Jacobus Annandale's  conclusion on each count

*COUNT I and 2 (deceased Thandi Dlamini and Kwanda Khanya, respectively) "It might be very well have been that one Sipho Dlamini took the late Thandi Dlamini and her child, as well as others whom he accused equally stated to have been taken by Dlamini, but yet again, it does not serve the purpose of also inferring that Sipho Dlamini was somehow also responsible for the deaths nor did the accused blame him for that. This imputes no blame on Sipho Dlamini. The accused confessed to a magistrate that there was one Thandi Dlamini, who was with a child.  She was from St. Philip's and was his sister-in-law. He had promised her work and that he killed her and the child by strangling them at Bhunya Forest. The Crown has proved the guilt of the accused beyond reasonable doubt in respect of counts one and two.

*COUNT 3 Withdrawn by the prosecution prior to plea due to duplication of identities of the deceased person referred in count 1.

* COUNT 4 (deceased Vosho Dlamini) "Vosho Dlamini was referred to by the accused as his girlfriend over a year, with a very serious relationship between them, not just a casual encounter. What is relevant and decisive is the confession of the accused wherein he stated with regards then that there was Vosho Dlamini, who was his girlfriend from St. Philipp's. He also went with her to Macetjeni where she strangled her with his hands until she died.

*Count 5 (deceased Zanele Thwala) "The deceased was another lover of the accused, who not only shared her bed and rented flat with him but whose advanced pregnancy allegedly was to render him the father. When taken in conjunction the confession of the accused where he said that 'Zanele Thwala of Mambane was my live-in lover: 'We stayed at Luyengo. We left for Luyengo to Malkerns. We were just walking until we got to Bhunya forest where I strangled her with my hands until she died.' There remains no reasonable doubt that the accused also murdered this victim."

Count 6 (deceased Twana Dlamini) "The deceased was the sister of Vosho and Thandi Dlamini. The accused said Twana Dlamini was from St. Philipp's, as all relevant witness stated. In his confession he said 'I promised her a job and I told her to meet me at Manzini Bus Rank. She came and we met. I then proceeded with her to Malkerns where I strangled her with my hands to death.' The combination of evidence in this court with nothing gainsay it save for a bare blanket denial of wrongdoing in any of the multitude of charges, culminates in a finding that in count 6, the Crown has also established the guilt of the accused beyond reasonable doubt."

Count 7 (deceased Dumsile Tsabedze) "The accused shared a flat with the accused at Malkerns. The extraneous evidence on which the crown relies to prove that this offence actually has been committed is on all four with the contents of the confession wherein the accused said that: 'Then there was Dumsile Tsabedze from Ncangosini area with whom we stayed together. She was my live-in lover. I left with her and told her we were going to my parental home. We used to stay together at Malkerns. When we got to Capha Mountain, I strangled her to death with my hands.' Within nothing to controvert this part from a general distancing by the accused from any wrongdoing anywhere, the end result inevitably is that the guilt of the accused in count 7 has also been proved beyond a reasonable of doubt."

Count 8 and 9 (deceased Fikile Motsa and her one year-old baby Lindokuhle Motsa) "The accused confessed to the judicial officer in the following words: 'Then there was Fikile Motsa from Sidwala area. She was with her child who was one year or just above one year old. I found her at Manzini bus rank. She said she was looking for work. I promised her work and we left Manzini to Malkerns. We got to Golden area where I killed her and the child by strangling them.' These chilling words prove the answer as to how the mother and her baby ended up dead instead of reaching their original destination."

Count 10 (deceased Phakamile Vilakati) "He confessed to the late Magistrate Masango that 'There was another from Kukhulumeni in Mankayane whose surname is Vilakati. I went with her after I had promised her a job. I got with her a Capha where I strangle her to death.' Although the confession does not include a first name, it is the only Vilakati he mentioned.

Count 11 and 12 (deceased Rose Nunn and her 13-month-old baby Nothando Khumalo) "The accused confessed that: 'there was Num (sic) by surname whom I found at the same park next to the City Council offices in Manzini. She had a child with her of about 18 to 20 months. She was looking for a job and I promised her on. We left for Malkerns and we got to Malkerns forest I strangled her with her child.' The spelling and sound of Num and Nunn are so similar that it is of no consequence."

Count 13 (deceased Sanele Tsabedze) "The accused stated that: "There was another one who stayed at Matsapha but was from Malindza. Her surname was Tsabedze. I found her at the Manzini Bus Rank looking for a job. I promised her one and we proceeded to Malkerns. I went with her to Bhunya forest where I strangle and stabbed her to death.

Some of the highlights of David Simelane's case

1. Lawyer Lucky Howe is fired as pro deo counsel for Simelane but the latter then engages him as a private attorney.

2. Howe files in an application for the judge's recusal from the matter which he loses. He appeals, but while waiting for the verdict of the appeal, in January 2011, 'Tsotsi' Mabila is appointed as pro deo for Simelane. Reasons advanced by the court are that he is delaying the case by his continuous absence.

3. On his first day in the matter, Mabila applies that eight witnesses be recalled and this is done.

4. David Simelane speaks for the first time since his arrest and tells the court that he actually killed no one

5. Simelane reveals that he was actually a go-between and that his role was to connect the missing people with one Sipho Dlamini of Logoba who was an employment agent

6. Director of Public Prosecutions, Mumcy Dlamini weeps in court as she narrates the murder of one Zanele Thwala who was pregnant when she met her death.

7. David has five surnames as it is revealed: Simelane, Mhlanga, Yende, Gwebu and Thwala

8. Simelane, through his lawyer, tells the court that he will answer only five of the 34 counts he  was facing

9. He tells the court that people approached him for employment and he in turn got them connected them to one Sipho Dlamini

10. His trial is one of the longest, it began in 2004 yet he was arrested in May 2001

11. One of the witnesses Superintendent Khethokwakhe Ndlangamandla took the whole year in the witness box

12. Much against expectation, Simelane addressed Judge Annandale in English one day.
"I have no comment," he tells the court when told that one of the witnesses Nelsiwe Mamba saw him with one Sibongile Dlamini, his in-law.

13. He changed tone one day as the DPP Mumcy Dlamini, cornered him and said he had seen one of the victims Thandi Dlamini. Earlier he had stated that he never saw her (deceased) after he had handed her over to Sipho Dlamini

14. DPP, Mumcy Dlamini, complains of illtreatment.This was during the many objections made by Mabila during the trial.

15. David denies ever writing a letter which purportedly told Thandi Dlamini's family that she was busy at work which was why she was not coming home.

16. He had more than one girlfriend, among them Vosho, Zanele, Gugu to name a few

17. He was a football person according to his own admission. In his testimony he said he met many people in football matches.

18. He does not know where Sipho Dlamini is and does not know why police did not look for him (Sipho) because he mentioned it to them that there was a third person (Sipho)

Photo : Serial killer David Thabo Simelane  >:(







From the Swaziland Times 04/02/11.

As if he was going for a trip abroad and would come back, serial killer David Simelane bade farewell to spectators at the High Court with a beaming smile, as he was whisked away.

Yesterday may have been the last day some people will ever see Simelane, as he was sentenced to a death penalty by Judge Jacobus Annandale. Sime-lane (55) will be hanged. This marked the end of the protracted criminal case of the serial murder convict. He was last week found guilty on 28 counts of murder, for killing 25 women and three children.

Simelane was dressed in brown casual shoes, purple tracksuit pants and a white striped short sleeved shirt. He looked his usual calm self for the duration of the sentence as he sat in the accused dock, frequently drinking water from an Energade juice bottle.

Judge Jacobus Annan-dale ordered Simelane to stand up as he addressed him on the sentence. Throughout the period when Judge Annandale was handing down the sentence, Simelane stood with both hands on the counter.

He faced downwards when the judge said there were no extenuating circumstances in the matter. Meanwhile, as the judge read the sentence the courtroom was so quiet that one would have heard a pin drop and the tension could be cut with a knife. But soon after hearing the sentence members of the public consisting of mostly women, who filled the public gallery, applauded and ululated.

The judge had to call them to order as they clapped hands and shouted when he said Simelane would be given a death penalty and would be hanged. Simelane stood transfixed in the accused dock as Judge Annandale left the courtroom and his face was expressionless.

Correctional Services officers whisked him away to the steps leading to the underground cells at Court A. But just as he was about to disappear into the cells, Simelane did what surprised those who were present in court - he waved 'goodbye' with a bright smile.

Yesterday marked nine years and 24 days since Sime-lane's arrest in Nhlangano on April 25, 2001. Before the sentencing, Simelane's attorney Mduduzi 'Tsotsi' Mabila had submitted that there were extenuating circumstances in the case in that Simelane had admitted in his confession that he killed the women out of revenge for having been wrongfully convicted of rape.

He claimed he never committed the rape. Mabila further asked the court not to consider Simelane's previous convictions when handing down its sentence.

When Mabila said the other cases were irrelevant to the murder case because they involved robbery and rape, there were murmurs from the public gallery.

The Director of Public Prosecutions Mumcy Dlamini said there were no extenuating circumstances that could prevent Simelane from being sentenced to death. She also wondered why Simelane killed the children if he said he murdered the women out of revenge following the rape case. Judge Annandale seemed taken aback when Mabila said he would not take Simelane to the witness box to lead evidence in mitigation. Mabila briefly consulted with Simelane and submitted that the court should consider that he was a first offender in respect of murder.

He asked Judge Annandale to take into account that Simelane had committed the offences out of vengeance. "Sentencing is discretionary, but the court has to take into account the surrounding factors enshrined in the Constitution. In conclusion, it is in the hands of the court to decide the appropriate sentence," said Mabila.



Current Date/Time: Fri Jun 24 2011 22:42:25 GMT+0200

20 years for killing wife

24 June, 2011 11:03:00

By Sibonginkosi Mamba

MOSES Siphila Ndwandwe, the man who killed his wife on suspicion that she had had sex with another man was sentenced to 20 years-imprisonment by the High Court.

Ndwandwe was charged with the murder of his wife, Ntombi Sibiya, whom he allegedly killed on the 26 December 2008 at Ekudzeni  in the Manzini region. Ndwandwe allegedly told one of the witnesses that he was upset on the said day when he returned home only to find that their house was smelling of sex. He suspected that his wife had recently had sex with another man. In addition to the smell of sex, he found some extra money over and above that which he had left. He had left his wife with E50 and found an extra E10, which he suspected had been given to his wife by the said man.

When a quarrel ensued over the above allegations, the deceased escaped and ran to her brother-in-law's house. However, Ndwandwe followed her. When his brother, Hynd Nxumalo, advised Ndwandwe to go to sleep and address the problem they were having in the morning, Ndwandwe did not go.

Apparently, Hynd who was suffering from a stomach ache went to toilet. Ndwandwe then took the chance and stabbed the deceased.
Ndwandwe pleaded not guilty to the charge of murder but to culpable homicide. However, at the close of the trial the court was convinced that he had committed the offence and found him guilty of murder.

Judge Qinisile Mabuza found that there were extenuating factors which caused Ndwandwe to escaped death penalty.


"Having escaped the death penalty, does he automatically qualify for the life sentence?" the judge wondered. Lloyd Mzizi who represented Ndwandwe in the matter argued that Ndwandwe was intoxicated hence his reasoning was affected when he committed the offence. Further, Mzizi argued that by pleading guilty to culpable homicide, which was however, rejected by the Crown, Ndwandwe was conceding and owning up to being responsible for the deceased's death and showed his remorse.

Furthermore,Mzizi said Ndwandwe tried to save the deceased's life by taking her to hospital where she unfortunately died upon arrival. He further asked the court to consider that Ndwandwe cooperated with the police and pointed out the knife to the police. "He is an unsophisticated man having attended school up to Grade 3.He is 33 years old. He has a minor child who is attending Grade 6," Mzizi pleaded. He also implored the court to impose a sentence that was corrective and not punitive.

However, Brian Magagula who represented the Crown submitted that the court should take into account that the deceased removed herself from Ndwandwe, fearing for her life but Ndwandwe pursued her. "Instead of leaving her where she was, he continued with his mission and killed her," Magagula argued. Further, Magagula begged the court to take into account that the killing of women was becoming prevalent and that during each session of the High Court, there were a number of cases of women having been killed by their partners, lovers and husbands. "The Court should send out a strong message for would be offenders to desist from killing women especially those that they profess to love," he stated.

The judge stated that having taken into account all the submissions, she would sentence Ndwandwe to 20 years imprisonment without the option of a fine. She, however, ordered that 10 months and three days be deducted from the sentence.








Soldier gets life sentence for taxi man's murder


on July 29,2011

MBABANE - A soldier convicted of killing a taxi man has been sentenced to life imprisonment.

Justice Qinisile Mabuza delivered the judgment when sentencing Roy Bongani Vilakati for murder.

He was sentenced last week for the incident that happened on January 2, 2008 at Zombodze in the Manzini region.

He shot and killed Mbongiseni Dlamini and stole his car, a Toyota Corolla after a dagga deal went wrong. The bone of contention, the court was told, was that the deceased had disappeared with Vilakati's six bags of dagga. Vilakati had hired him to transport the illegal herb. He had to alight along the road before they could reach their destination after they drove to a police roadblock. The deceased is said to have told Vilakati, his usual customer for ferrying the herb, to alight and remain behind to avoid raising suspicion with the police, but promised to fetch him later.

However, Dlamini is said to have later ignored Vilakati's calls to arrange to hand over the dagga bags with a street value of E39 000.

Vilakati is said to have tricked Dlamini by colluding with a friend.

He told the friend to call the deceased and offer to purchase dagga from him. They arranged a meeting place and when the deceased arrived he was shot in the head by Vilakati. He died on the spot.

In passing sentence, Judge Mabuza said she was guided by Section 15 (2) of the Constitution, which stipulates that a death penalty is not mandatory. She said Vilakati shot and killed the deceased in cold blood and did not show remorse. The sentence was backdated to January 27, 2008 when Vilakati was arrested. The Crown was represented by Mduduzi Mathunjwa, while Sikelela Magongo appeared on behalf of the convict.

Life sentence equates to 25 years.









10:24 PM, Thursday, December 15th, 2011, GMT.

Swaziland advised to repeal death sentence

By BANELE DLAMINI on December 15,2011

MBABANE - Swaziland is one of the countries that have been urged to consider repealing the death sentence.

This is follows a United Nations resolution to abolish it.

Mtsambama MP Bheki Mkhonta who is also Chairperson of the Ministry Justice and Constitutional Affairs portfolio committee said the country is expected to commence discussions on whether this can be done or not.

He has recently returned from a trip in Italy where countries looked into issues relating to the death sentence.

Mkhonta was in that country to represent Speaker Prince Guduza.

"We talked about global politics and also looked into the UN resolution on renouncing the death penalty. Countries were looking at how it can be removed and why it would be good or not to remove it," he said.

Speaking on national radio yesterday morning, he said comparatively the country fares better than others regarding this.

This he said because no one has been executed in the country since 1983 even though initially there were 45 people who had been sentenced to hang but it never happened.

He said at least 43 were granted prerogative of mercy.

The meeting resolved that UN member states begin internal processes of interrogating the matter.

"About 639 people were present including Justice ministers.

"We resolved that we go back to our respective countries to initiate talks about the possible removal of the death penalty," he said.

The MP said the country also fared better than other states regarding the welfare of inmates.

He said to his surprise Swaziland was apparently doing better than developed states including the hosts.

"Swaziland fares better in treatment of inmates regarding the conditions of stay. We had a look at Italy and found we are better than them in some areas even though they are a first world state. You would expect them to be advanced as they are first world but they are not," said Mkhonta.

He said the Commissioner of Correctional Services Isaiah Ntshangase and his staff are to be commended for this.







David's fate sealed, he will hang

By LINDA JELE on December 01,2012

MBABANE - Serial killer David Simelane expressed disappointment after his appeal against the death sentence was set aside.

He immediately bowed his head and held it with both hands. His facial expression changed from that dry smile he usually wears. Simelane did not need any assistance to hear the verdict of his appeal, by being interpreted in vernacular.

He has in the past exhibited fluency of the queen's language.

As soon as Judge Bheki Maphalala read the last line of the judgment stating, 'accordingly, the appeal is dismissed in its entirety and the sentences imposed are confirmed,' he seemed to be clenching his teeth as his chick bones tightened. Now that the case has been dealt with by the Supreme Court, Simelane's attempts to evade the death sentence have hit the ceiling. He has to be hanged.

Supreme Court judges Ahmed Ebrahim, Dr Seth Twum and Maphalala unanimously agreed that Simelane's conduct of killing 28 women and children had sunk to the very depths of depraved and evil conduct and he does not deserve any sympathy.

Simelane was seated in his usual corner of the accused dock at courtroom A, a place he has occupied for over six years, in the mid of two Correctional Services officers. He was clad in a sky blue sweat shirt and kaki casual pants. Before the judgment he smiled as this reporter greeted him and jokingly asked the publication's photographers if he was not tired of taking pictures of him.

In the judgment Judge Ebrahim disagreed with Simelane's lawyer that it was wrongful for the High Court to convict his client based on a confession, which had not been made voluntarily and following the dictates of the law. Mabila had argued that Simelane, upon arrest, was supposed to have been taken to a magistrate expeditiously, but it took the police two weeks.

However, Ebrahim said while that may be so, Simelane's case was peculiar and the delay was perfectly understandable. He said the police were investigating a person believed to be a serial killer and their investigations related to 41 murders.

"It would have been physically impossible for them (police) to have concluded their preliminary investigations anytime sooner. The appellant (Simelane) made indications at the scenes where the bodies were found, he had to be shown clothing allegedly worn by the victims and so on. I therefore, see nothing untoward in the appellant only being brought before the magistrate when he was brought before him," Ebrahim said.

He said the confession made by Simelane before the late Manzini Magistrate Charles Masango was properly admitted before the High Court. He said the Crown had relied on indications provided by Simelane and recovered bodies of the victims.

He said in his view, there was wealth of evidence proving that Simelane had committed the murders, for instance, each of the victims had last been seen in the company of Simelane. Simelane, in the confessions, had said he had killed the women and children out of revenge after he had been sent to custody for having raped a woman he had robed. He said he had only robed the woman.

He spent six years in prison, from 1992 to 1998 for the offences and stated that he came out with one thing in mind; to revenge on any woman. He had said that had he met the woman who was a complainant in the offence he had been convicted for, he would not have killed so many women.

Judge Ebrahim said Simelane never showed any remorse for the murderous conduct.

"This has been one of the most serious cases I have ever dealt with both in my career as a State Counsel or as a Judge. The learned judge a quo was entirely correct in finding no extenuating circumstances and consequently imposing the ultimate penalty," Judge Ebrahim said.

... Judge Annandale handled case well

MBABANE - The trial Judge Jacobus  Annandale has been praised for the manner in which he handled David Simelane's case.

Supreme Court Judge Ahmed Ebrahim Judge Annandale meticulously crafted the judgment before the High Court and it was clear that he was cautious to ensure that Simelane was always granted a fair trial.

Though, Judge Ebrahim said, out of abundance of caution in ensuring that Simelane was afforded a trial beyond reproach, Judge Annandale observed caution even on evidence Ebrahim considered as admissible.

However, Judge Ebrahim expressed concern that the trial took about 10 years from Simelane's arrest in April 2001 to conclusion on January 31, 2011. He noted that Simelane's trial commenced on May 29, 2006.

He said it was the Crown's duty to ensure that his trial commenced timeously and sufficient court time was afforded. He also said the crown should have made it clear to Simelane's lawyer, of its intentions to see the case finalised without undue delay.

"This was not done and it was only when the present Chief Justice Michael Ramodibedi took office that this fiasco was brought to an end following his insistence that this case is given priority and all decks be cleared in order that this totally unacceptable situation is rectified," Judge Ebrahim said.

he strangled most of victims

MBABANE - Most of serial killer David Simelane's victims were strangled with his bare hands.

Only a few were stabbed or killed through both acts. This is contained in the confession he made before the late Manzini Magistrate Charles Masango two weeks after his arrest in April 2001. He stated that he led most of the women to A6 forest at Malkerns with the promise that he would give them jobs.

He stated that he enticed the women into the forest by telling them that the people who would eventually hire them stayed on the other side of the forest in some rented flats.

He named the women by names and surnames and only a few he remembered by their surnames. He stated that he would strangle them to death and such was in revenge for serving a six-year sentence for a rape offence he had not committed.

"All the women did not know the way there and what was beyond the forest. I stabbed those that I stabbed, because, they would fight me back. I had the money to gamble at lotto machines, play cards for money or play the dice game," reads the confession.

I apologize for my not perfect English. Hopefully you understand what I mean. If not - ask me. I will try to explain.

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