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Sipho DUBE

 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

 
 
 
Classification: Serial killer
Characteristics: Rape - Kidnapping
Number of victims: 7
Date of murders: 2001 - 2003
Date of arrest: November 9, 2003
Date of birth: 1976
Victims profile: Rashunthee Singh, 38, in Ladysmith and Lukhanyo Kuwane, 10, Tina Bernardes, 11, Nomnikelo Jumba, 14, Thabo Dlongolo, 14, nine-year-old Anele Mbuku and his cousin Siyabonga Mbuku, 12, in Johannesburg
Method of murder: Strangulation / Beating
Location: KwaZulu-Natal/Johannesburg, South Africa
Status: Sentenced to 10 life sentences for seven murders and three rapes, plus an additional 114 years for a host of other crimes, on August 23, 2006
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Johannesburg Mine-Dump Serial Child Killer

Name: Sipho Dube
Date of birth: Unknown (his birth was never registered)
Date of death: He was still alive in sept 2006
Cause of death:
Nickname(s): Johannesburg Mine-Dump Serial Child Killer
Killings: 7
Location: Ladysmith, Northern KwaZulu-Natal and Johannesburg
Killing spree: May 2001 and January 2004

Deep in the mountainous, meandering and captivating scenery of the valley of Mhlumayo in Ladysmith, a serial killer and rapist was lurking.

Residents of the area hope he rots in jail and burns in hell because of the suffering he has caused.

They say they endured hardship and difficulty as he sowed a reign of terror, raping young girls and stealing at will.

Just the mention of his name sends shivers down your spine.

Sipho Dube had no documented history. His birth was never registered, he had no identity book and his fingerprints Where not on record - and although he claimed to be 26 at the time, he appeared older.

"He walks with his hands in his pockets. He picks up stompies all the time because he's a chain smoker,"

He grew up in the Mhlomayo area near Nambithi (formerly Ladysmith). While he never went much to school, he taught himself to read in several languages and is fluent in English.

He's described as a loner who liked to hang around shebeens. He moved to Johannesburg late 2002, and made his living by collecting cardboard and scrap metal.

"He moved around a lot and has no fixed address. He claims he is a Christian, and in the past he wanted to be a preacher.

He is a dark black male, 1,65metres tall and of medium build. He has scars on his face and somethimes he wears a beard and moustache.

Dube, now better known as the "Johannesburg mine-dump serial child killer" was troublesome from as young as the age of seven.

"When he was seven-year-old, "he stole his neighbour's portable radio. When he was confronted about it, he told them they were full of shit and should mind their own business."

'Sipho Dube was a stubborn child' When he was in his teens, he started breaking into the neighbours' houses, taking whatever he wanted.

Dube was so troublesome, that before he turned 10, he even stole money from the church altar.

At Mhlumayo Primary School, which he left in Grade five, at the age of 16, his teachers said they knew he would end up in prison.

Fellow pupils were often assaulted and abused by him. Teachers got tired of reprimanding him.

His Grade three teacher, Tozi Sithebe named him "Ndoji", loosely translated as "the one who dodges classes", because of his constant absence from school.

Because his constantly absence Dube had failed to progress in school. The teachers had given up on him because of his lack of discipline and respect for others.

Their attempts to reprimand him for several offences had failed, until Dube left school of his own will.

Each time his family confronted him about being involved in crime, he would ask for forgiveness and say that they should pray to God so that he could change his behaviour.

Dube's neighbours said he was ill-disciplined and often gave their children trouble.

"You would often see him grabbing a young girl on his way to rape her," said one woman, adding that people were so scared of him, they would not attempt to confront him.

Dube's behaviour got worse after a bus accident that confined him to a hospital bed for four months. "After the accident he engaged in house breaking."

In 1997, he recieved an 18-month sentence for attempted theft, in Ladysmith. Later in January 1999, he was sentenced to three months imprisonment for housebreaking also in Ladysmith.

His aunt, Sibongile Lamula said when lead investigating officer Superintendent Piet Byleveld and his team of detectives came to her home in May 2004 to explain the nature of the charges Dube was facing, she was horrified.

"When you look at him you would think they (the police) are just framing him. I become terrified when I hear all the horrible stories about him. People (in the area) are scared of him," she said of her nephew.

The neighbours, who asked not to be identified, said Dube fled the area after he had raped an little girl around 2000. That was the last time they saw him until they heard media reports that he had been arrested for a string of violent crimes.

Modus Operandi

Dube approached his victims in public places and then taken under bridges, or to mine dumps or bushes were they were assaulted, raped and murdered. It was later proven that he lured his victims by "promising them toys, or pretending to be a police officer or a handyman who could fix electrical appliances for them".

After he'd kidnapped a child, Dube first prayed. If the prayer was a "good one" he let the child go. If it was a "bad" prayer, he murdered the child.

His recollection of kidnapping and then indecently assaulting boys of murdering them was more clear than the crimes involving young girls.

"Victims had head injuries, chest wounds and cerebral trauma,"

Murder spree

March 23, 2001

Rashunthee Hariduth Singh, a widow and mother of two, was last seen when she told her mother, she was going to the bank and would be late returning home.

Inspector Simon Mkhize, found 38 year-old Singh body at a monument near an Indian residential area in Ladysmith while patrolling the area. He testified in court, that Singh had been robbed and her face badly mutilated. She had not been raped.

Upon his arrival at the scene, Mkhize found the body of a woman and noticed a number of big rocks next to her body. The manner in which the woman had been killed made it difficult for him to ascertain her race. Her face was covered in blood and she had terrible facial injuries.

It was only after he had observed the texture of her hair that he concluded that she was of Indian descent.

April 13, 2003

Moses Dlongolo and his common-law wife, Martha Mthimunye reported their 14 years-old, son Thabo missing on April 13 2003.

The police found his body a few kilometres from the family's Regents Park home in Johannesburg's southern suburbs 12 days after his disappearance.

Yet it was almost two-and-a-half years later - on August 25, 2005 - that they told the parents their son had been murdered and that his body had been recovered.

They had to identify the body from police photographs. Thabo's mother said, "It broke my heart when I looked at my sons body in the photographs - both arms were missing."

Mthimunye said on April 13, 2003 she had sent her son to a shop, but he never returned.

Later in the day she received a call from a man who identified himself as "Sipho", saying she must tell her husband that he must forget about his son.

The man called again, telling Dlongolo he had killed his son and he would find his son's body in a bushy area a few kilometres from his Regents Park home.

August 6, 2003

The murders of the Mbuku cousins and that of Lukhanyo Kuwane,10, and Tina Bernardes, 11, could have been averted had police questioned Dube at the scene of 14-year-old Nomnikelo Jumba's murder in August 2003. Nomnikelo was killed in Bertrams, and a reservist constable had failed to question Dube, who had shown detailed knowledge of the killing.

When the policeman arrived at the scene, he didn't notice that Dube's shoes were covered in blood. Dube had told the police officer how Nomnikelo had run down a hill before she collapsed and died, after she was raped.

Dube led the police up the hill and they found Nomnikelo's bloodied school blazer. But they let Dube go without questioning him about the girl's death.

Nomnikelo Jumba had been stabbed in the neck and under the armpit and there were semen found on her trousers.

September 18, 2003

Lukhanyo Kuwane 10 years-old and a 15 year-old friend were on their way home from school when they went to pick some fruit from a tree.

While busy picking some fruit they were approached by a man pushing a trolley loaded with cardboard boxes.

The man asked them to help him carry the boxes, promising to give them R20 each.

The friend said he had refused to accompany Dube or take the R10 he had promised because "I never walk with strangers".

Lukhanyo had then accompanied Dube. A day later, Lukhanyo's badly injured body was found naked on the side of the road in Wemmer Pan, southern Johannesburg, by a motorist.

In his testimony, the motorist "Van der Kolf" said he was driving to his Turffontein home with his wife when he noticed a child lying next to a road. At the scene there were two men who were trying to help the boy.

He said the boy, who was lying naked, had open wounds on his face and was calling his friend's name. Realising the seriousness of the boy's injuries, he called an ambulance, but it never arrived. He and the two men took Lukhanyo and drove him to hospital, were he died the next day.

A state pathologist testified in court that the injuries suffered by Lukhanyo were among the worst she has ever seen.

September 24 2003

For little Anele Mbuku 9 years-old and his cousin Siyabonga Mbuku 12 years-old, the lure of a Rambo-like muscleman toy led to their deaths.

On the day of the boys disappearance, September 24 2003, Anele had arrived home with Dube at Mayfair, Joburg, carrying a toy that Dube had been selling.

Anele's mother, Sophie Mbuku had told Dube she could not afford the toy because she was unemployed and had asked him to leave the house. Thinking Dube had left the area, she sent Anele and Siyabonga to fetch something for her at her sister's house nearby.

After a few minutes, they did not return, and when she went looking for the children, she saw them in Dube's company. She again ordered Dube to stay away from the boys and threatened to call the police.

Mbuku went inside the house, and when she came out five minutes later, Dube and the children were gone. Mbuku said that when Dube first confessed, he told police he had left the boys at a dam, then later that he had dumped their bodies in the veld. On a third occasion, he said he didn't know where their bodies were.

For two months their families searched frantically for them.

Their decomposed bodies were findly found near a dam a few kilometres away from their home.

When Mbuku pointed Dube out during her testimony, he had screamed at her: "I never killed your children. Get out of my face."

Sophie Mbuku, said the boys' disappearance had caused her father and aunt in the Eastern Cape such shock that both of them suffered heart attacks and died.

November 8, 2003

Tina Bernardes 11 years-old, was kidnapped on November 8, 2003. The child's bludgeoned body was found hidden under a bush on a mine dump near the Denver offramp on the M2 highway the following afternoon.

Maria Johnson, aunt of Tina, said she was selling clothing in Jules Street, Malvern, when Dube approached her and asked her to sell two cellphones for him.

She asked Tina and her 12-year-old cousin, to accompany the accused to fetch the phones.

"When they went around the corner, I lost sight of them," Johnson said. Five minutes later, Tina's cousin came to report that Tina was "gone" On the way she had decided not to go on because she began to lose trust in Dube when she smelt alcohol on him.

When Tina failed to return, a massive search was started.

Captured

No one has seen Alfred Nyanga for almost three years but the family of little Tina Bernardes will always remember the homeless man as a hero for helping put her killer behind bars.

After Tina's disaperence, her family and community searched through the night for her, with Tina's uncle, Mario Bernardes distributing hundreds of flyers displaying Tina's photograph. "A whole community of people across the race barrier were out there that day helping look for the missing girl.

A few hours later, Mario Bernardes met Nyanga, who was homeless and living under the M2 East interchange bridge. He told Bernardes that he had seen Dube walking with a white girl towards the highway. He recognised Dube, he said, because he often saw him at a scrapyard in Eloff Street.

Bernardes gave Nyanga R50 and asked him to phone him if he saw Dube again. The next day, Nyanga phoned Bernardes and informed him that Dube was at the scrapyard.

Mario Bernardes and his brother, Joaquim, hurried to the scrapyard, where Nyanga pointed Dube out to them. They took Dube to Johnson, who confirmed that he was the man with whom she had sent Tina. Bernardes contacted the police, and on November 9, 2003 they arrested Dube.

Escape and recaptured

Two months later, on 12 January, Dube escaped from Wynberg magistrate's court. He walked out of the building after responding to another prisoner's name.

Later he was arrested under the false name Clifford Mbatha, for attempted theft of a vehicle and stabbing the owner, and send to the Johannesburg Prison.

The owner of the car named Adams, said to police that he was visiting a friend in Malvern, Johannesburg, on January 16 2004. After parking his car outside, he walked into the friend's house, and a few minutes later, his car's alarm went off. He went outside to investigate and noticed three men trying to break into his car.

The men ran away and he gave chase. One of the men, whom he identified in court as Dube, got tired and decided to sit down in the street.

Adams, confronted him over the incident and Dube promised to lead him to the house where his two accomplices lived. The same time the friend he had been visiting arrived at the scene.

While on the way to the house where Dube point out his accomplices, he [Dube] pulled out a knife and stabbed Adams in an arm. It was then that they decided to take Dube to the Cleveland Police station, where he was detained.

Questioning

During questioning by police, he could remember most of the incidents and sometimes went into great detail about how he'd raped or murdered a child.

Dube's answers to specific questions indicated that his first sexual encounter had been in 1993 when he was still at school. when asked whether he'd ever had sex with a man, he replied that a man, whom he said was gay, had ones forced him to have sex. The man apparently placed his penis between Dube's thights and told Dube to do the same.

This simulation of sex was the same as the experience every one of Dube's male victims apparently had to endure, but to a question if Dube had ever done it with anyone else, he answerd "no".

When asked whether he liked children, Dube said "Yes, there's a difference between children and adults: children are god's children. I like the company of both boys and girls".

In response to a question on wich children's age group was the "best" for him, he said he liked all children, but "mainly" between six and 12 years old.

On trial

Before a shocked Johannesburg High Court, Dube displayed the rage and violence that has made him one of the country's worst serial killers.

Judging by his temper and his contempt for the court on previous occasions, Dube was bound to explode; he just needed the spark to ignite him.

A commotion in court during Dube's sentencing was triggered by the presence inside court 2F of photographers who wanted to take pictures of him.

Infuriated by the attempts to photograph him, Dube got angry and then verbally attacked them in Zulu.

Translated, what he said meant: "You can take pictures until your camera starts looking like a vagina. Why can't you go and take pictures of your mother?"

He also tried to attack journalists and family members of some of his victims, before being stopped by half-a-dozen policemen.

Relatives of his victims taunted him, telling him to face the cameras and not to cower in the dock and cover his face with his woollen hat.

"The world needs to see the face of a serial killer," they yelled.

"The blood of our children will haunt you to your grave. You will rot in hell," shouted an emotional family member of one of Dube's victims.

"I will come to you and strangle you". Dube shot back furiously, hurling abuse at those confronting him about his crimes.

In a fit of rage, he pulled out a microphone from the dock and tried to throw it at the victims' families in the gallery, before being stopped.

When The Star's graphic artist, Wilson Mgobhozi, tried to sketch him, Dube shouted: "I don't want to be sketched! Why are you doing that? I will come to you and strangle you!"

The commotion resulted in the police removing him from the dock to the basement cells.

Later Dube refused to come out of the cells, demanding that police remove photographers from the court. He held up proceedings for three-and-a-half hours. The Judge then ordered the police to use reasonable force to bring him back up.

As he finally walked up the steps to the dock, Dube shouted that he was going to commit suicide by setting himself alight because the court did not want to listen to him.

Dube also made it abundantly clear that he was not going to listen to Judge Seun Moshidi. He said he would simply close his ears.

When the proceedings resumed, Judge Moshidi asked Dube why he was refusing to attend his hearing. Dube remained seated in the dock, with his head bowed, prompting the judge to order him to stand up. At this point, he calmly stood up, never looking at the judge.

Judge Moshidi asked him three times why he had failed to return to court, but Dube remained defiant and did not respond.

It was explained to him that if he failed to show up for the trial in future, the state would invoke section 159 of the Criminal Procedure Act, which allows the court to proceed with the trial in his absence.

While the judge was still explaining this, the accused calmly shoved a newspaper he was holding inside his half-opened blue tracksuit top. He then took out a cigarette lighter and set the newspaper inside his jacket alight.

A female interpreter shouted and screamed, and three police officers jumped into the dock, put out the flames and subdued Dube.

The judge adjourned the proceedings until police had dealt with the problem. Investigating officer Piet Byleveld ordered that Dube be strip-searched in case he had something else with which he could harm himself.

As police handcuffed him, a screaming and shouting Dube said to Byleveld: "Kill me, kill me. Choke me like you did, choke me."

In anticipation of his attempting suicide, police took his trousers belt and shoelaces.

Still wrestling and screaming, Dube threatened to throw himself down the steps leading to the cells. Three policemen immediately went to man the exit.

Testifying in aggravation of sentence, police forensic psychologist Gerald Labuschagne told the court that Dube was a "serial sexual murderer and paedophile" who could not be rehabilitated.

"Studies prove that child molesters are most difficult to rehabilitate... in this instance, the accused qualifies," said Labuschagne.

He added that the accused's motive in committing the crimes was not primarily material gain. Dube's crime patterns showed that he had elements of being a "power-control murderer".

Also, he had used his intelligence to gain his young victims' trust.

Asked by the court what motivated serial killers to commit these kinds of offences, Labuschagne said there was no definitive answer, but the theory was that most of them did not feel part of society - they were loners, had no friends or girlfriends, or were sexually molested at a young age.

In mitigation of sentence, the defence called Dube's aunt, Sibongile Mkhize, who testified that her nephew had had a normal upbringing, but they had noticed he was troublesome at an early age, and as he got older, his crimes became a lot worse.

Mkhize pinned all the blame on Dube's paternal family, saying "his father failed to perform Imbeleko - a traditional ceremony - for him and this led to his bad behaviour".

Sentences

"It was a long and difficult trial," said Judge Moshidi.

The court was crowded with families of victims as well as law students from the University of Johannesburg.

In his 45-minute judgement, Judge Moshidi said the accused had carefully planned his crime spree in the areas of Ladysmith, Weenen in KwaZulu Natal and in Johannesburg, between May 2001 and January 2004. "I conclude the State has proven the accused guilty beyond reasonable doubt,".

"It is highly unlikely that all police officers and witnesses will conspire against the accused and falsely implicate him." Describing a number of crimes with the same modus operandi, Judge Moshidi said Dube had twice been present at murder scenes.

"On one occasion, he insisted police should go up a hill and while there, he showed them a bloodied school blazer and books... saying the murdered girl, Nomnikelo Jumba, 14, had been raped there before the killing," he said. "The accused was also present at the murder scene of Lukhanyo Kuwane, 10,... whose body was found badly battered and later confirmed he had a fractured skull and severe brain damage."

Based on this, Judge Moshidi said: "The totality of evidence points towards the guilt of the accused... circumstantial evidence and his presence on the murder scenes clearly points to his involvement in the matters."

On august 23, 2006 at 10am, just before he was to hear his sentence, Dube shuffled into the dock.

He wore a grey and black woollen cap and dark glasses, dark jeans and white Nike takkies as he sat down and covered his head with his hands.

It did not take long for his vicious streak to emerge. A court orderly noticed that he was carrying a bottle of water and went to confiscate it, Dube said: "Why are you taking this? It's just water."

"What do you want from me, captain? I'm just respecting you?" he said, pointing at the policeman's rank epilettes on his uniform.

Then he said: "I hope you get run over by a car and your testicles get smashed," before adding: "Your muti won't work."

Dube was given 10 life sentences.

The Judge sentenced him to an additional 114 years. The sentences run concurrently, giving an effective life sentence, which is a minimum of 25 years.

Dube, was convicted of murdering Rashunthee Singh, 38, in Ladysmith and Lukhanyo Kuwane, 10, Tina Bernardes, 11, Nomnikelo Jumba, 14, Thabo Dlongolo, 14, nine-year-old Anele Mbuku and his cousin Siyabonga Mbuku, 12, in Johannesburg.

He was also convicted of three rapes, 11 kidnappings, six indecent assaults, one assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, one common assault, one robbery and one theft - a total of 31 crimes.

He had originally faced 41 charges.

Dube was taken down to the cells quite quickly after court adjourned, hurling insults as he clanged down the stairs in his leg irons on his way to lock up.

Asanda Jumba, whose younger sister Nomkelo was one of Dube's victims, cried when she heard that her sister's killer was going to jail for life.

"I am happy with the sentence, even though my sister won't come back. She died brutally. I hope he rots in jail," she said.

An unnamed aunt of nine-year-old Tina Bernardes, one of Dube's most well-known murder victims, said: "He got what he deserved, although I think he should have got the death sentence."

Bernardes' immediate family appeared very emotional after the sentence was passed. They hugged one another, repeatedly saying: "It's over now," but declined to speak to the media. They left the court quickly.

A mother of another one of the murdered children, Nandi Kuwane, said she was thrilled with the sentence. "I won't stop crying for my son. I can't forget about him. He was taken away from me and I am so sad," Kuwane said.

The family members of the children Dube killed, previously unknown to each other but brought together in grief, comforted each other outside the courtroom and exchanged phone numbers, promising to call each other soon.

They were all pleased with the sentence, feeling that justice had finally been served.

Serialkillers.nl

 
 

Hero who helped catch a serial killer

August 26, 2006

No one has seen Alfred Nyanga for almost three years but the family of little Tina Bernardes will always remember the homeless man as a hero for helping put her killer behind bars. This week in the Johannesburg High Court, serial killer and child rapist Sipho Dube was sentenced to 10 life sentences for seven murders - including the death of 11-year-old Tina - and three rapes.

He was sentenced to an additional 114 years for a host of other crimes, including indecent assault and kidnapping. And it was a chance encounter between Nyanga - who had vital information about Dube - and Tina's uncle, Mario, shortly after her disappearance in November 2003 that led to his arrest.

Since then, though, Nyanga has vanished, according to the police and the Bernardes family, who have trawled the inner city in search of him. "We tried to trace him [Nyanga] several times for the better half of three years to thank him for his help, but he is nowhere to be found," Bernardes said this week.

It was on November 8, 2003 when Dube approached Tina's aunt, Maria Johnson, and conned her into believing that he wanted her to sell cellphones for him. That day, she was selling clothes in Jules Street, Jeppestown, and so she told Tina and her cousin to accompany Dube to collect the phones. Tina's cousin ran away while walking with Dube, but Tina continued. She never returned.

Her family and community searched through the night for her, with Bernardes distributing hundreds of flyers displaying his niece's photograph. "A whole community of people across the race barrier were out there that day helping us look for our girl," Bernardes recalled.

A few hours later, Bernardes met Nyanga, who was homeless and living under the M2 East interchange bridge. He told Bernardes that he had seen Dube walking with a white girl towards the highway. He recognised Dube, he said, because he often saw him at a scrapyard in Eloff Street. Bernardes gave Nyanga R50 and asked him to phone him if he saw Dube again.

The next day, Nyanga phoned Bernardes and informed him that Dube was at the scrapyard. Bernardes and his brother, Joaquim, hurried to the scrapyard, where Nyanga pointed Dube out to them. They took Nyanga to Johnson, who confirmed that he was the man with whom she had sent Tina. Bernardes contacted the police, and they arrested Dube. "There are no heroes in any of this. We were out there looking for someone [Tina] who meant a lot to our family. But if there's anyone who you can call a hero, it was Alfred. He put his life at risk for us," Bernardes said.

Chief investigator Superintendent Piet Byleveld said the police believed Nyanga had "vanished", and despite a massive police search to locate him to testify in Dube's trial, he was never seen again after he pointed Dube out to Bernardes. "He was an important state witness he helped us to track Dube down. He was important in that he actually saw her [Tina]. We've tried to find him for the last three years. Even before we closed the state's case, we were trying to trace him. But at least we got a conviction. At the end of the day, that's what matters," Byleveld said. If it wasn't for Tina's death, "no one would've known about this Sipho Dube", said Bernardes. "His sentence shows that if you are out there hurting and murdering people, it will catch up with you. May he rot in hell for the rest of his life." He added: "We only know a quarter of his crimes, what he confessed to. After all this hype is over, a lot more people may come forward to tell what he did to them. "We must protect our children."

 
 


 

Serial killer in South Africa gets ten life sentences

August 23, 2006

A South African serial killer was sentenced to ten life terms in prison on Wednesday for "showing no mercy at all to his victims," among them children and teenagers. Sipho Dube was convicted of seven murders and three rapes.

The Johannesburg High Court sentenced the 27-year-old to one life term for each of these crimes and an additional 114 years for crimes ranging from 11 counts of kidnapping, six of indecent assault and one count of robbery.

His victims included children in their teens and an adult in a series of murders between May 2001 and early 2004. Presiding Judge Seun Moshidi said Dube showed no remorse for his actions. Throughout the court case, Dube threated, cursed and tried to attack the relatives of his victims who attended the hearing. Dube was apprehended by the family of one of his victims in late 2003 and delivered to police, but he later escaped and was rearrested several months later.

The conclusion of the case against Dube comes as police investigators probe a string of murders near Centurion outside Pretoria. Since January, the bodies of nine women - some of them unidentified - have been found dumped on vacant land near the town. Although police have declined to say the murders are the work of a serial killer, members of nearby communities are convinced that this is the case and have expressed fear for their safety.

Several cases involving serial killers have made headlines in South Africa over the last decade with few of the perpetrators caught. The country's worst serial killer, Moses Sithole, was apprehended in 1995 in the wake of a two-year killing spree in which 38 women died. In 1997 he was sentenced to 2,410 years in prison for the murder and rape of the women he lured to their deaths with job offers.

 
 

Mercy sought for serial killer-rapist

August 23, 2006

"How can the court show mercy to the accused when he did not show any mercy to his (rape and murder) victims?" This point was made by Judge Seun Moshidi in the Johannesburg High Court on Tuesday in answer to a defence plea to see mine dump child serial killer and rapist Sipho Dube "as a human being". Attorney Jesse Penton also asked the court to be merciful when sentencing Dube.

The state argued that Dube treated his victims with contempt and deserved to be handed nine life sentences for six of the seven murders and three rapes. The state and the defence were submitting their arguments in aggravation and mitigation of sentence before Judge Moshidi and his two assessors in a packed court.

Last week the court convicted 27-year-old Dube, of Mhlumayo in the KwaZulu Natal town of Ladysmith, on 30 counts, which include seven murders, three rapes, six indecent assaults, 10 kidnappings, one of theft, one of common assault and another of assault. He was acquitted on 11 charges, including seven kidnappings, two robberies, one of escaping from custody and one of trying to steal a car.

Dube preyed on boys and girls aged between 9 and 16 in his hometown and in Johannesburg between May 2001 and January 2004. His oldest victim was 39-year-old Rashunthee Singh, whom he murdered in Ladysmith in May 2001. He lured his victims under false pretences and took them to deserted spots where he raped and sodomised them, and even killed by strangling them and crushing their skulls with rocks. 'Unthinkable fear' State advocate Joannie Spies said Dube did not show remorse. "He didn't commit the crimes on the spur of the moment. He made use of his 'comfort zones'. "By inventing a con story (to lure his victims), he made sure they trusted him. He monitored police investigations by being at or close to the scene."

Spies asked the court to imprison Dube for life for the murders of Lukhanyo Kuwane, 10, Nomnikelo Jumba, 14, cousins Anele, nine, and Siyabonga Mbuka, 12, Thabo Dlongolo, 13, and Tina Bernardes, 11. Spies also called for life for the rape of a nine-year-old girl and two life sentences for the double rape of an 11-year-old girl. She likened Dube's modus operandi in the rapes to that of paedophile Fanwell Khumalo, serving 40 life sentences for raping more than 40 schoolgirls aged between six and 16.

Spies said Dube carefully planned his actions and she described him as a callous person whose murder victims had gone through "unthinkable fear and torture before they were murdered". Arguing in mitigation of sentence, Penton challenged police forensic psychologist Dr Gerard Labuschagne's evidence that his client could not be rehabilitated. "Dr Labuschagne was not a good witness. There is no firm basis (in his report) about what motivates a serial killer. "There is nothing to suggest the accused would remain a danger to society for the rest of his life."

However, Penton conceded that the accused had been convicted on serious charges. He asked the court to order that all sentences run concurrently, which would allow Dube to be considered for parole after serving 25 years. Penton asked the court to look at Dube as a human being and show mercy. The court was expected to pass sentence on Wednesday.

 
 

Prosecutor calls for harsh sentence for serial killer

August 22, 2006

Convicted paedophile and serial killer Sipho Dube should be jailed for life, prosecutor Joanie Spies told the Johannesburg High Court on Tuesday. In pre-sentence submissions Spies said Dube's crimes were premeditated and he had treated his victims with "absolute contempt". She called for life sentences for the three rape charges and six child murders.

Dube (27) was convicted of 31 crimes: The murders of six children in Johannesburg and a woman in Ladysmith between May 2001 and January 2004, 11 kidnappings, three rapes, six indecent assaults, one assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, one common assault, one robbery and one theft. Spies described how one child went through "agony and humiliation". Another was battered with "at least six blows to the face" and the bodies of two children were never found. Spies said that if life imprisonment is imposed, Dube will probably be eligible for parole after 25 years. She asked the court to give some direction to the Department of Correctional Services on this. Defence attorney Jesse Penton said he could not argue against the number and seriousness of the charges, but asked the court to see Dube "as a human being" and allow him to serve the sentences concurrently. The courtroom was packed, mainly with legal students from the University of Johannesburg. Dube sat with his head on his knees. A court orderly told one woman to move her crutch out of reach of Dube, who has previously tried to attack the victim's families and journalists.

 
 

Serial killer claims rights abuse

August 17, 2006

The case of convicted paedophile and serial murder Sipho Dube was postponed on Thursday because his lawyer, Jesse Penton, had to attend to his ailing mother. Johannesburg High Court prosecutor Joanie Spies told that court that Penton's mother was gravely ill in hospital and asked the matter to be postponed to next Tuesday. This was not taken lightly by the families of Dube's victims. One of the mothers, Nandi Kuwane, said the postponements were just adding salt to their wounds. "I can't wait for this case to be finalised. The longer it takes, the more traumatising it is."

Kuwane's son was one of the six children murdered by Dube between May 2001 and January 2004. Dube was found guilty of the murders of six children in Johannesburg and an adult woman, aged 38, whom he killed in Ladysmith. He was also found guilty of ten kidnappings, one theft, one robbery, one common assault and one assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm. Just before Judge Seun Moshidi postponed the matter, Dube addressed the court saying his constitutional rights were being violated by the media. "My rights are being violated by photographers who constantly take photos of me whenever I walk from the holding cells to the dock."

 
 

Judge stunned as serial killer vents fury

August 17, 2006

Swearing, making death threats and trying to hurl a microphone at his victims' families, Sipho Dube shows the violent streak of a person who committed seven murders and three rapes.

In total, the 30-year-old Dube has been convicted of 31 crimes, including the murder of six children and a woman; the rape of three girls; the indecent assault of six boys; and two additional charges of assault and one of theft.

Before a shocked Johannesburg High Court on Wednesday, Dube displayed the rage and violence that has made him one of the country's worst serial killers. Judging by his temper and his contempt for the court on previous occasions, Dube was bound to explode; he just needed the spark to ignite him.

A commotion in court on Wednesday during Dube's sentencing was triggered by the presence inside court 2F of photographers who wanted to take pictures of the man dubbed the "mine dump child serial killer". Infuriated by the attempts to photograph him, he demonstrated his aggression and temper when he tried to attack journalists and family members of some of his victims, before being stopped by half-a-dozen policemen.

During the lunch adjournment, relatives of Dube's victims taunted him, telling him to face the cameras and not to cower in the dock and cover his face with his woollen hat. "The world needs to see the face of a serial killer," they yelled. "The blood of our children will haunt you to your grave. You will rot in hell," shouted an emotional family member of one of Dube's victims.

Dube shot back furiously, hurling abuse at those confronting him about his crimes. In a fit of rage, he pulled out a microphone from the dock and tried to throw it at the victims' families in the gallery, before being stopped. When The Star's graphic artist, Wilson Mgobhozi, tried to sketch him, Dube shouted: "I don't want to be sketched! Why are you doing that? I will come to you and strangle you!" The commotion resulted in the police removing the accused from the dock to the basement cells.

Just before the court resumed after lunch, Dube refused to come out of the cells, demanding that police remove photographers from the court. He eventually came out after the police had used "reasonable force" to bring him up. Testifying in aggravation of sentence, police forensic psychologist Gerald Labuschagne told the court that Dube was a "serial sexual murderer and paedophile" who could not be rehabilitated. "Studies prove that child molesters are most difficult to rehabilitate... in this instance, the accused qualifies," said Labuschagne. He added that the accused's motive in committing the crimes was not primarily material gain.

Dube's crime patterns showed that he had elements of being a "power-control murderer". Also, he had used his intelligence to gain his young victims' trust. In cases where serial killers target adult women, they would use false stories like offering them a job, said Labuschagne. In cases where people like Dube target children, their con story would be to ask for directions or pretend to be a figure of authority, such as a policeman.

Asked by the court what motivated serial killers to commit these kinds of offences, Labuschagne said there was no definitive answer, but the theory was that most of them did not feel part of society - they were loners, had no friends or girlfriends, or were sexually molested at a young age. In mitigation of sentence, the defence called Dube's aunt, Sibongile Mkhize, who testified that her nephew had had a normal upbringing, but they had noticed he was troublesome at an early age, and as he got older, his crimes became a lot worse. Mkhize pinned all the blame on Dube's paternal family, saying "his father failed to perform imbeleko - a traditional ceremony - for him and this led to his bad behaviour".

 
 

Victims' families unhappy as serial-killer case postponed

August 17, 2006

The case of convicted paedophile and serial murderer Sipho Dube was postponed on Thursday because his lawyer, Jesse Penton, had to attend to his ailing mother. Johannesburg High Court prosecutor Joanie Spies told the court that Penton's mother was gravely ill in hospital and asked the matter to be postponed to next Tuesday. This was not taken lightly by the families of Dube's victims. One of the mothers, Nandi Kuwane, said the postponements were just adding salt to their wounds. "I can't wait for this case to be finalised. The longer it takes, the more traumatising it is."

Kuwane's son, Lukhanyo, was one of the six children murdered by Dube between May 2001 and January 2004. Dube was found guilty of the murders of six children in Johannesburg and an adult woman, aged 38, whom he killed in Ladysmith. He was also found guilty of 10 kidnappings, one theft, one robbery, one common assault and one assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm. Just before Judge Seun Moshidi postponed the matter, Dube, who had pulled his woollen hat to cover his face, addressed the court saying his constitutional rights were being violated by the media. "My rights are being violated by photographers who constantly take photos of me whenever I walk from the holding cells to the dock," Dube said.

 
 

Court hears that murderer cannot be rehabilitated

August 16, 2006

Sipho Dube is a serial murderer and paedophile who cannot be rehabilitated, a police forensic psychologist told the Johannesburg High Court on Wednesday. "Studies prove that child molesters are most difficult to rehabilitate ... In this instance the accused qualifies," said Dr Gerald Labuschagne.

Dube (30) was found guilty last week of murdering six children and a woman, raping three girls and indecently assaulting boys. Labuschagne was testifying in aggravation of Dube's sentence. He said denial of responsibility for the criminal acts, as in Dube's case, was seen as "the first and largest stumbling block in any rehabilitation process".

Asked what the motivation of jailing Dube was when there were no prospects of positive rehabilitation, Labuschagne told judge Seun Moshidi that there was no option but to jail Dube as he was a threat to society. Labuschagne also said there were possibilities that more children could have been molested or even killed if Dube was never arrested. "It is common for sexual serial murderers to escalate their crimes as time goes by ... even if they were to receive the most desirable rehabilitation programme, because their risk of re-offending increases with each passing year ... as long as their sex drive remains." He said Dube's intelligence gained him the trust of his young victims. "He had to have a sophisticated form of manipulation for him to get his victims to do what he wanted ... going with him wherever he asked them to."

Just before Labuschagne took the witness stand, Dube's aunt Sibongile Mkhize told the court that her nephew had had a troubled childhood. She said Dube often stole from his grandmother and even skipped school until he dropped out when doing standard two. Mkhize pinned all the blame on Dube's paternal family, saying they had failed to carry out their traditional obligations. "His father failed to perform imbeleko -- a traditional ceremony -- for him and this led to his bad behaviour." She said the family was told this after taking Dube to spiritual healers for help. But consulting the healers never helped as Dube's behaviour worsened. "He started getting involved in housebreakings," Mkhize said.

The housebreakings she referred to were confirmed when state prosecutor Joanie Spies said Dube was once sentenced to three months' imprisonment for a housebreaking he committed at Ladysmith in January 1999. Apart from the 1999 conviction, he was also said to have served an 18-month term for attempted theft, also in Ladysmith.

Dube was also convicted of 10 kidnappings, one theft, one robbery, one common assault and one assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm. On Wednesday Dube swore at photographers who tried to take photographs of him -- even attempting to throw a bottle and a microphone at them. The hearing continues Thursday.

 
 

Serial killer a 'troubled kid'

August 16, 2006

Convicted paedophile and serial killer Sipho Dube, 30, was a troubled child who often stole from his grandmother and absconded from school. This emerged in the Johannesburg High Court on Wednesday when Dube's aunt Sibongile Mkhize testified. She was called to court by Dube's lawyer Jessie Penton, who was arguing in mitigation of sentence. She blamed Dube's behaviour on his paternal family, saying they failed to organise a traditional ceremony known as imbeleko for him.

Imbeleko is a traditional ceremony where a man pays money to the family of the woman he impregnated. "On realising that reprimanding him was of no help we decided to take him to ritual healers who said he always engaged in wrongdoing because of the unfulfilled traditional ceremony." Mkhize said Dube's behaviour got worse after a bus accident that confined him to a hospital bed for four months. "After the accident he engaged in house breaking." Mkhize's testimony was confirmed by state prosecutor Joanie Spies who said Dube was once sentenced to three months imprisonment for housebreaking he committed at Ladysmith in January 1999. "Two years before the 1999 conviction he served an 18-month sentence for attempted theft, also in Ladysmith." Dube was last week found guilty of murdering six children and a woman, raping three girls and indecently assaulting boys.

Judge Seun Moshidi also convicted Dube, 30, of 10 kidnappings, one theft, one robbery, one common assault and one assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm. Spies has called a police forensic pathologist, Dr Gerald Labuschagne, for a pre-bail sentencing report.

 
 

Sipho Dube convicted of murder

Mail & Guardian

August 8, 2006

The Johannesburg High Court found Sipho Dube guilty on Tuesday of murdering six children and a woman, raping three girls and indecently assaulting boys

Judge Seun Moshidi also convicted Dube (30) of 10 kidnappings, one theft, one robbery, one common assault and one assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.

"I conclude that the state has proven the accused guilty beyond reasonable doubt," he said.

"It is highly unlikely that all police officers and witnesses will conspire against the accused and falsely implicate him."

Describing a number of crimes with the same modus operandi, Moshidi said Dube had twice been present at murder scenes.

"On one occasion, he insisted police should go up a hill and while there, he showed them a bloodied school blazer and books ... saying the murdered girl, Nomnikelo Jumba (14) had been raped there before the killing," he said.

"The accused was also present at the murder scene of Lukhanyo Kuwane (10) ... whose body was found badly battered and later confirmed he had a fractured skull and suffered severe brain damage."

Based on this, Moshidi said: "The totality of evidence points towards the guilt of the accused ... circumstantial evidence and his presence on the murder scenes clearly points to his involvement in the matters."

Taking the modus operandi argument further, the judge said two other murdered victims -- a woman from Ladysmith and 11-year-old Tina Bernardes of Johannesburg -- had suffered fractured skulls by being hit on the head with stones

"The Bernardes murder was a cruel cold-blooded one. It is similar to that of 39-year-old Rashunthee Singh who died a painful death ... the stones used to hit them on their heads were found near their bodies," Moshidi said.

Also, he referred to incidents were Dube had lured his young victims by offering them toys, cellphones, asking them to help carry his luggage for reward or even offering to fix electrical appliances.

Although Dube had denied that he had voluntarily taken police to murder scenes, the judge found that to be "improbable".

"It is highly improbable that senior police officers could set out to falsely implicate the accused."

Two of Dube's victims, nine-year-old Anele Mbuku and his 12-year-old cousin Siyabonga Mbuku, were never found after they were kidnapped.

The judge ruled Dube was guilty of murdering them, although their bodies were never recovered.

At the beginning of his trial in January, Dube pleaded not guilty to all the 41 charges dating from May 2001 to January 2004 in Ladysmith and Johannesburg.

He was acquitted on Tuesday on one rape charge, and a number of other charges.

 
 

Rape killings: Calls for "life"

August 7, 2006

Alleged serial rapist and multiple murderer Sipho Dube, 30, deserved to be locked up for life, said the uncle of one of his victims on Monday.

Joaquin Bernardes was speaking on behalf of the family of murdered 11-year-old Tina Bernardes, whose body was found near a mine dump in November 2003. "We are glad the case is coming to a conclusion and are hoping for a guilty verdict and a life sentence," he said. "It's been exceptionally difficult for the family, especially for Tina's father who is still undergoing counselling."

Bernardes' call for conviction and a life jail term for Dube was supported by Nandi Kuwane, a mother who wept when events leading to her 10-year-old son's death were described in Johannesburg High Court earlier this year. As she sat stone faced near the Bernardes during a lunch break on Monday, she said: "My child and others won't come back... but I'm hoping for conviction as well."

Kuwane's son, Lukhanyo, was found by a motorist on a roadside near Rosettenville. The child's body had been battered. Six children killed The motorist rushed the boy to hospital in a bid to save his life, but in vain. Lukhanyo and Tina are among the six children killed, allegedly by Dube between May 2001 and March 2004 in Ladysmith and Johannesburg.

The seventh murder was that of a 38-year-old woman. Judge Seun Moshidi said in his summary judgment on Monday that the crimes were characterised by the same modus operandi. He said victims - like Tina and Lukhanyo - had been approached in public places and then taken under bridges, or to mine dumps or bushes were they were assaulted, raped and murdered. Also, Judge Moshidi said Dube had lured his victims by "promising them toys, or pretending to be a police officer or a handyman who could fix electrical appliances for them". "Victims had head injuries, chest wounds and cerebral trauma," he said.

Dube has pleaded not guilty to all 41 charges against him. These include seven of murder, 17 of kidnapping, four of rape, six of indecently assaulting girls and boys, three of robbery and one charge each of theft, attempted theft, assault and escaping from custody.

Escaped from court Dube was arrested on November 9 2003 after members of the Bernardes family traced him to Maimai Hostel in Johannesburg. But, two months later, Dube escaped from the Wynberg magistrate's court, only to be re-arrested four days later on January 16 2004. His arrest came after he allegedly attempted to steal a car and stabbed the owner. Dube told the arresting officer his name was Clifford Mbatha, until Superintendent Piet Byleveld proved otherwise.

 
 

Judge slams doctor in Dube trial

22 june 2006

A judge has criticised some doctors who examine rape victims for being casual when examining them.

Judge Seun Moshidi of the Johannesburg High Court raised his concerns on Wednesday when a doctor who had earlier testified in the trial of a suspected serial killer and rapist contradicted herself on her findings about the rape of a 13-year-old girl in October 2003. First the doctor had told the court the girl had been penetrated and later said she had not been.

Judge Moshidi raised this point during closing arguments in the trial of 30-year-old Sipho Dube, who is facing 41 charges that include seven murders, four rapes, six indecent assaults, 17 kidnappings, three of theft, attempted theft, assault and escaping from custody.

Dube, of Mhlumayo in Ladysmith, KwaZulu-Natal, has denied having gone on a crime spree in Ladysmith and Johannesburg between May 2001 and January 2004. He allegedly preyed on girls and boys aged between 8 and 16.

In her closing argument, state advocate Joannie Spies called for the court to convict Dube on all charges except the one of escaping from the Wynberg magistrate's court in January 2004, where it was clear that he was released by the police.

The case was postponed to August 7 for judgment.

 
 

Killer rapist returned to murder scenes

June 15, 2006

Sipho Dube was seen as the man behind multiple rapes and murders because four of his alleged victims were attacked near a highway bridge, where he lived.

Dube had also been present at two murder scenes while police were busy with investigations, which showed that he wanted to know about the progress of the investigations relating to those murders.

This evidence was corroborated by the confession Dube made to the police, that he had lured boys and girls, molested them and killed some of them, and that the killings were spontaneous.

These are the conclusions the state drew on the last day of cross-examining the 30-year-old Ladysmith resident in the Johannesburg High Court on Wednesday.

Dube has pleaded not guilty to seven counts of murder, four of rape, six of indecent assault, 17 of kidnapping, three of robbery, theft, attempted theft, assault and escaping custody.

The state has concluded that the accused was "a mine dump child serial killer", who should be convicted on all 41 charges against him.

The state claims the accused targeted boys and girls in Ladysmith and Weenen, KwaZulu Natal, and also in Joburg between May 2001 and January 2004. The oldest victim was a 39-year-old woman, whom he is accused of murdering in Ladysmith in May 2001.

During cross-examination, state advocate Joannie Spies put it to Dube that he was present at the murder scenes of Nomnikelo Jumba, 14, in Bertrams and Lukhanyo Kuwane, 10, in Wemmer Pan, which showed that he wanted to establish how far the police were with their investigation.

In the case of Jumba, who was slain in August 2003, Dube had assisted the police by taking them to the girl's father, who also happened to be the accused's friend and neighbour in Jeppestown.

Spies said Dube's behaviour at the scene showed he knew what had happened to the girl, and his blood-splattered shoes were testimony to that fact. Also, Dube had spoken angrily at the scene, telling people gathered there that Jumba had been raped, argued Spies. He had taken the police up a hill, saying they would find Jumba's school blazer, which they did.

Dube had demonstrated some knowledge relating to the attack on Kuwane, who was found naked and severely injured, next to a main road in Wemmer Pan in September 2003. The boy died in hospital.

When police scoured the veld for evidence, Dube approached Inspector Samuel Ungerer and asked if they needed help with their car, Spies said.

The case is expected to continue on Wednesday.

 
 

Police 'must do DNA test in serial killings'

23 may 2006

Police should speed up their search for the bodies of two boys allegedly murdered by a mine dump child serial killer so their family can have closure.

And the authorities should also conduct DNA tests on the remains of a boy who was buried as a pauper to establish whether it was Thabo Dlongolo.

Judge Seun Moshidi raised these concerns in the trial of Sipho Dube in the Johannesburg High Court on Monday.

Dube, 30, of Mhlumayo in Ladysmith, is on trial on 41 charges, including seven of murder, 17 of kidnapping, four of rape, six of indecent assault, three of robbery, theft, attempted theft and escape from lawful custody.

He strangled the boys near a dam.

He has pleaded not guilty.

The state alleges that Dube embarked on a crime spree between May 2001 and January 2004 in the KwaZulu Natal towns of Ladysmith and Weenen and also in Johannesburg.

On Monday Judge Moshidi asked lead investigating officer Superintendent Piet Byleveld why he was certain that the boy was Dlongolo, as police had not conducted DNA tests.

Dlongolo, 13, disappeared from his home in Regents Park, Johannesburg, in April 2003 after he was sent to a shop. A body was found 12 days later.

"On what basis are you certain it is his (Dlongolo's) body?" asked the judge.

Dube had blamed his crimes on his parents.

"It was the clothing (identified by Dlongolo's parents) found on the scene," said Beyleveld. "It was also due to what the accused told me as well as the version of the father (Moses Dlongolo) that he was phoned by a man named Sipho (that he had killed Thabo)".

He also said Thabo's injuries were consistent with Dube's description of them.

Judge Moshidi said a DNA test could still be done to reach closure in the matter.

Byleveld agreed that the police should do so soon.

Earlier, Byleveld told the court that Dube admitted to him that he had sold his victims' body parts to sangomas - his mother Mavis Dube and a friend of hers.

This surprised Byleveld, who said he found no evidence of this when he questioned the two.

The investigator told the court that police were following several leads in the search for cousins Siyabonga, 12, and Anele Mbuku, 9, who disappeared in September 2003 after Dube allegedly kidnapped them.

At a previous hearing, the court heard that Dube admitted to the police that he strangled the boys near a dam and that a sangoma and her assistant took away their bodies.

He said the sangoma paid him R100 for the job.

Dube had blamed his crimes on his parents, "who did not show me the right way in life".

The trial continues.

 
 

Child serial killer claims of police toture

28 april 2006

Sipho Dube, the child serial killer, says he was tortured by police to point out the places where his alleged crimes had taken place. Dube is testifying in his defence in the Johannesburg High Court.

Dube is facing 41 charges including murder, rape, kidnapping and indecent assault. He's alleged to have committed his crimes between 2001 and 2004. During cross-examination Joanie Spies quizzed Dube on events he had testified on. She pointed out where Dube contradicted himself and told him that he seemed very confused. Dube said the names of the white police officers had confused him.

Spies also asked Dube why he never looked up while he was testifying. Dube said this was because he had a sore neck and it hurts to look up. He said he was told by his parents to never look at a person in the eyes who had tortured you because if they that person had muti it could kill you. Dube said that he believed Investigating officer Piet Bylevelt, whom he is accusing of assault, had muti.

The case was postponed to Tuesday next week because Dube said he was confused because all the pain he had suffered was coming back to haunt him.

 
 

Child serial killer claims of police toture

April 26, 2006

Sipho Dube, the child serial killer, says he was tortured by police to point out the places where his alleged crimes had taken place. Dube is testifying in his defence in the Johannesburg High Court.

Dube is facing 41 charges including murder, rape, kidnapping and indecent assault. He's alleged to have committed his crimes between 2001 and 2004. During cross-examination Joanie Spies quizzed Dube on events he had testified on. She pointed out where Dube contradicted himself and told him that he seemed very confused. Dube said the names of the white police officers had confused him.

Spies also asked Dube why he never looked up while he was testifying. Dube said this was because he had a sore neck and it hurts to look up. He said he was told by his parents to never look at a person in the eyes who had tortured you because if they that person had muti it could kill you. Dube said that he believed Investigating officer Piet Bylevelt, whom he is accusing of assault, had muti.

The case was postponed to Tuesday next week because Dube said he was confused because all the pain he had suffered was coming back to haunt him.

 
 

Moods part of a serial killer's make-up

March 31, 2006

It came as no surprise when an alleged serial killer first became confrontational, then later changed his attitude before confessing to a detective.

This point was made yesterday by top investigator Superintendent Piet Byleveld in the Johannesburg High Court during a trial-within-a-trial.

He was explaining the rationale behind Sipho Dube's cooperative and friendly behaviour when being investigated for a string of crimes.

Byleveld, who was disputing the defence's evidence that he forced Dube to make incriminating statements and to point out alleged crime scenes, said this was the typical behaviour of serial killers. He referred to many other such killers he had investigated before.

Dube (30), of Ladysmith, is on trial on 41 counts including seven of murder, four of rape, six of indecent assault, 17 of kidnapping, three of robbery, theft, attempted theft, assault and escaping from lawful custody.

The accused has denied having terrorised communities in Ladysmith and Weenen in KwaZulu Natal and also in Johannesburg between May 2001 and January 2004.

He allegedly preyed on boys and girls aged between 9 and 16, sodomising and raping them and killing some of them.

Cross-examined by defence counsel Jesse Penton, Byleveld stuck to his earlier evidence that Dube had phoned him in April 2004, saying he wanted to point out alleged crime scenes in Wemmer Pan, Moffat Park and Mayfair in Joburg and also in Ladysmith.

He denied his investigative team had assaulted the accused. Before Dube pointed out the alleged crime scenes, he was warned of his constitutional rights, and he had indicated that he understood them.

Byleveld added that after Dube was arrested on November 9 2003 he was unco- operative.

However, his attitude later changed, and he even asked for an isiZulu Bible in prison.

The trial continues.

 
 

No bodies found as Dube reveals crime scene

March 30, 2006

Sleuth cop Superintendent Piet Byleveld gave a Bible to a suspected serial killer and rapist after the suspect's arrest.

It was after this encounter that Sipho Dube gained the trust of Byleveld and later phoned him and volunteered to point out the alleged crime scenes in Ladysmith and Johannesburg.

Although Dube pointed out the alleged crime scenes, there is one particular case which still troubles the police.

Dube had pointed out the scene where he allegedly murdered nine-year-old Anele Mbuku and his 12-year-old cousin Siyabonga Mbuku in Mayfair, Johannesburg, in September 2003.

But, two-and-a-half years later, the police have not found the boys' bodies.

This emerged in the Johannesburg High Court on Wednesday when Byleveld was testifying about his investigations during a trial-within-a-trial in the case of 30-year-old Dube, who has denied all 41 charges against him.

He is charged with seven murders, four rapes, six indecent assaults, 17 kidnappings, three robberies, theft, assault and escaping from custody after having allegedly gone on a crime spree between May 2001 and January 2004 in Weenen and Ladysmith in KwaZulu-Natal and also in Johannesburg.

Byleveld told the court that he was appointed the lead investigator on November 12, 2003, when Dube made his court appearance over the murder of 11-year-old schoolgirl Tina Bernardes.

During one of his consultations with Dube, the accused had asked him to bring him a copy of an isiZulu Bible in prison.

It was after this that they began having a friendly relationship and Dube co-operated with Byleveld.

Testifying about Dube's three-month-long disappearance between January and March 2004, Byleveld said this had angered him.

The accused had allegedly escaped from the Wynberg magistrate's court on January 12, 2004, but had been arrested four days later after trying to steal a car in Malvern.

Police were not aware that Dube had been arrested for that case because he had told them that his name was Clifford Mbatha.

For three months the cops looked for him in Ladysmith and Rustenburg, not knowing he was at Johannesburg Prison, Byleveld said.

After discovering that Dube was at Johannesburg Prison, the detective went to visit him.

Before taking Dube to point out the alleged crime scenes, Byleveld had read him his constitutional rights, and the accused had indicated that he understood them.

Dube first took police to Mayfair, where he allegedly killed Anele and Siyabonga Mbuku.

They searched the area, without success, Byleveld said.

Later Dube led the police to a mine dump in Wemmer Pan, southern Johannesburg, where he showed them panties and a few bloodstained shoes.

A month later, Dube called Byleveld, saying he had committed crimes in eMnambithi, KwaZulu-Natal.

The defence was due to cross-examine Byleveld on Thursday.

 
 

Killer's' trial told of boy's injuries

March 14, 2006

A state pathologist has testified in court that injuries suffered by a 10-year-old boy - allegedly at the hands of a suspected serial killer and paedophile - were among the worst she has ever seen.

Dr Jeanine Vellema, who told the Johannesburg High Court on Monday that she had conducted about 9 000 postmortems, said Lukhanyo Kuwane's chances of survival were zero as he had suffered serious brain injuries.

The state pathologist was giving evidence in the trial of Sipho Dube, 25, who is charged with 41 counts that include seven of murder, 17 of kidnapping, four of rape, six of indecent assault, three of aggravated robbery, theft, attempted theft and escaping from custody.

The accused has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

The accused tricked the boy into accompanying him.

He is suspected of having gone on a crime spree targeting boys and girls aged between 9 and 16 in the areas of Ladysmith and Weenen in KwaZulu Natal and also in Johannesburg between May 2001 and January 2004.

His oldest alleged victim is a 39-year-old woman, whom he is accused of murdering in Ladysmith in May 2001.

As regards the murder of Lukhanyo, the court has heard how the accused tricked the boy into accompanying him on September 18, 2003.

A day later, Lukhanyo's badly injured body was found naked on the side of the road in Wemmer Pan, southern Johannesburg, by a motorist, who rushed him to hospital.

The boy died in hospital the following day.

He had refused to accompany Dube or take the R10 he had promised.
In her testimony, Vellema said that due to the nature of his brain injuries, there was no way that Lukhanyo could have survived.

Lukhanyo's 15-year-old friend told the court that they were on their way home from school when they went to pick some fruit from a tree.

While busy picking some fruit they were approached by the accused, who asked them to help him carry some goods.

Dube had promised to give them R10 each for their help.

The friend said he had refused to accompany Dube or take the R10 he had promised because "I never walk with strangers".

Lukhanyo had then accompanied Dube, and that was the last time he saw him alive.

The trial continues.

 
 

One of the biggest child serial murder cases in South African history is set to start in the Johannesburg

February 20, 2006

One of the biggest child serial murder cases in South African history is set to start in the Johannesburg High Court today. Sipho Dube (26), an alleged serial rapist and murderer, pleaded not guilty to all 41 charges against him last month.

The charges include murder, kidnapping, assault, rape and escaping from police custody. Between 2001 and 2004, Dube allegedly raped and murdered at least nine children between the ages of nine and 14.

The murdered children include Tina Bernardes (11), who was found dead near a mine dump in Denver, east of Johannesburg, in November 2003.

 
 

Alleged serial rapist and killer in the dock

January 25, 2006

The case against Sipho Dube, an alleged serial rapist and killer, resumes in the Johannesburg High Court today. Dube is facing eight charges of murder and other charges of kidnapping, rape, indecent assault and robbery. The incidents took place, mostly around Johannesburg, between 2001 and 2004. Johan Spies, the State advocate, told the court on Monday that they needed time to consider some of Dube's earlier admission and retractions. The case was then postponed until today. According to the indictment, Dube's victims were boys and girls whose ages ranged from nine to 14 years.

 
 

Alleged serial killer pleads not guilty

January 25, 2006

The alleged killer of 11-year-old Tina Bernardes, who was found dead near a mine dump more than two years ago, denied guilt on 41 charges on Wednesday.

Thin and balding, Sipho Dube, 25, stared straight ahead of him as he stood in the dock in blue denims and a yellow T-shirt while the charges against him were read in the Johannesburg High Court.

He faces seven counts of murder, 17 of kidnapping, four of raping girls, six of indecently assaulting boys, three of aggravated robbery and one count each of theft, attempted car theft, aggravated assault and escaping from custody.

His alleged victims were between the ages of nine and 16.

Three of the charges of kidnapping, murder, and robbery involving the theft of a pair of sandals, are linked to Bernardes.

The 11-year-old was found dead near a mine dump in Denver, east of Johannesburg, in November 2003 after apparently accompanying Dube to his home to fetch two cellphones he had offered her in exchange for clothing she and her family were selling in Malvern.

Dube allegedly assaulted her in a veld, where she died of head injuries.

Pleading not guilty on each charge, Dube told the court he did not understand some of the clauses on the charge sheet.

Judge Seuns Moshedi adjourned the case so the interpreter could explain them, but as soon as he left the courtroom Dube claimed he had a headache and refused to listen.

He then became annoyed at a cartoonist in court and threatened to beat him up.

"If you don't stop drawing me, I will beat you up in front of the judge. All you journalists are going to write lies," he said, claiming he felt unwell and wanted to go back to his cell.

Judge Moshedi allowed him to remain seated for the rest of the proceedings.

Postponing the case to February 20, he ordered that Dube remain in custody and that he receive medical treatment to prevent a similar disruption of the case when it resumed.

A total of 159 witnesses are to be called to testify in the trial.

 
 

Serial killer to court in October

July 21, 2004

The alleged killer of 11-year-old Tina Bernardes and an alleged accomplice will stand trial in October on charges relating to a host of child murders, rapes and indecent assaults. Bongani Dlamini, 28, of Turffontein in Johannesburg and Sipho Dube, 20, also known as Mthandeni Mhlangathi, appeared in the Johannesburg magistrate's court on Wednesday. Magistrate Collin Mqalo agreed to postpone their trial to October 29.

The trial was delayed as the investigating officers, including serial killer expert Superintendent Piet Byleveld, would be testifying in the crossbow murder trial of Frank Zanner in August. The prosecution was also waiting for outstanding DNA results. Two of the charges related to cases from Ladysmith and Weenen in KwaZulu-Natal. These investigations were not completed and this, too, was delaying the prosecution.

Although further charges might be added, at this stage they include six murders, four rapes, 15 kidnappings, five indecent assaults, one robbery and two thefts. Not all the charges relate to both men. Found in Johannesburg Prison Dlamini was in custody at the time of Bernardes's murder. The cases relate to boys and girls under the age of 15.

Dube is also charged with escaping from police custody. He was arrested last November but allegedly walked out of the Wynberg magistrate's court on January 12 after responding to another prisoner's name.

Police found him under a false name in the Johannesburg Prison in March. A link was later found between Dlamini and Dube and they were joined as co-accused in April. Dube, who conducted his own defence, objected to the postponement. He claimed he was being given electric shocks in prison. Dlamini's advocate also objected to the postponement and suggested the two men stand trial separately. However, Mqalo ruled the delay was not unreasonable. The case was likely to be transferred to the High Court. Both men would remain in custody.

 

 

 
 
 
 
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