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Lazarus Tshidiso MAZINGANE

 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

   


A.K.A.: "Nasrec serial killer"
 
Classification: Serial killer
Characteristics: Rape - Robberies - Taxi driver
Number of victims: 16
Date of murders: 1995 - 1998
Date of arrest: October 1998
Date of birth: 1976
Victims profile: Margaret Mollo Dineo / An unidentified woman / Lindileni Paulina Mahlangu / Kedibone Catherine Maepe / Prudence Miller / Gladys Mabaso / Queen Mnguni / Glen-Rose Vilakazi / Minah Msimanga / Prudence Mohomane / Maria Tshabalala / Utlwang Dorah Koma / Gert Aspeling / Joaquim Manuel Ferreira / Palesa Molapisi / Susan Mlaba
Method of murder: Strangulation - Shooting
Location: Nasrec, Johannesburg, South Africa
Status: Sentenced to 17 life sentences + 700 years in prison on December 2, 2002
 
 
 
 
 
 

Nasrec serial killer gets life - 17 times

Iol.co.za

December 03, 2002

Lazarus Mazingane, the so-called Nasrec serial killer and rapist, was given 17 life sentences and over 700 years imprisonment by the Johannesburg High Court on Tuesday.

The court was packed to capacity with people who came to hear Mazingane's sentencing for his 1993 to 1998 reign of terror.

Judge Joop Labuschagne said Mazingane was a "cruel and inhuman person" who showed no remorse, and should be permanently removed from society to which he was a menace.

The court rejected as "false beyond reasonable doubt" defence claims that Mazingane was in poor health following torture by police.

Labuschagne said: "With inner vice he (Mazingane) stalked defenceless women whom he robbed and raped before he killed them."

Labuschagne said murder, rape and aggravated robbery were prevalent throughout the country.

Mazingane, said the judge, had no respect for the sanctity of life and property, making a living from robbing the people he stalked and attacked to satisfy his greed.

He was working as a taxi driver at the time and many of the victims were attacked along his route or when seeking transport. His first victims were throttled - not fatally - but those killed towards the end were murdered by strangulation.

Recalling evidence by pathologist Dr Patricia Klepp that it could take four minutes for a person to die from strangulation, the judge said such killings were "barbaric".

"All these women were young and in the prime of life. I listened to the evidence of mothers... and loved ones who told me of their tragic losses. Nothing I do or say today can compensate them, but perhaps they can find some compensation in the conviction of the accused and these sentences I am imposing."

Although the majority of the crimes were committed before the Minimum Sentencing Act came into force on May 1, 1998, it would serve as a guideline and the court would also take into account the indignation of South Africans and ensure that Mazingane was permanently removed from society.

"We are determined to protect the dignity, equality and freedom of all women and show no mercy to those who seek to invade their rights."

But the court noted that some of the victims were men such as Gert Aspeling, who in a departure from Mazingane's usual method, was shot dead when he refused to hand over his car keys after stopping to change a wheel. Mazingane then drove off with the dead man's paralysed wife in the car and dumped her in the veld without her wheelchair.

The chances of rehabilitation appeared "very poor if not non-existent". The judge noted that Mazingane had also been convicted of attacking his own wife.

Mazingane was convicted last week on 74 charges, and was sentenced on Tuesday to life imprisonment on each of the 16 murder counts on which he was convicted and life imprisonment for the most recent rape, which fell under the new legislation.

On each of the remaining 21 charges of rape he was sentenced to 18 years. On the 20 counts of robbery with aggravating circumstances he was sentenced to 25 years for the most recent one, and 15 years for each of the remaining 19.

Mazingane was sentenced to 10 years on each of five counts of attempted murder. One victim was shot three times but survived.

He received eight years for each of the three charges of kidnapping, plus two years for assault, three years on each of the two charges of illegal possession of a firearm, and three years on each of the four charges of illegal possession of ammunition.

Mazingane is currently serving 35 years for a crime committed late in 1998 - the kidnapping, rape and robbery on an attorney's wife and an attack on a motorist who stopped to help. That investigation led an expert on serial killers, Superintendent Piet Byleveld, to investigate all the unsolved Nasrec killings and culminated in the nine-month High Court trial in which 270 witnesses were called. - Sapa

 
 

Jo'burg serial killer guilty on 74 counts

November 29, 2002

JOHANNESBURG -- Nasrec serial killer Lazarus Mazingane, who "prowled the streets and shopping malls looking for victims to rape and kill", will be sentenced next week after being found guilty on 74 charges yesterday.

The prosecution has asked for life sentences to be imposed on 27-year-old Mazingane for each of the 16 counts of murder on which he was convicted.

He was also convicted on 20 charges of aggravated robbery, 22 of rape, three of kidnapping, five of attempted murder, one of assaulting his wife and seven counts of contravening the Firearms Act.

The sentences will be delivered in the high court here on Tuesday.

State advocate Gerrit Roberts placed aggravating factors before Judge Joop Labuschagne yesterday prior to sentencing.

He called on pathologist Patricia Klepp to describe the horror of the last four minutes of a strangled victim's life. Strangulation was Mazingane's preferred method of killing.

Klepp said that if the person struggled, death would take longer despite the fact that irreversible brain damage sets in after four minutes.

She said that in some instances, the blood would flow to the brain and, unable to return to the body, it would cause increased pressure and the bursting of blood vessels.

In addition to the 16 life sentences, Roberts called for lengthy imprisonment for the rest of the 74 charges.

Mazingane was found not guilty on only one charge -- the murder of his former employer's wife.

The court heard from Roberts that Mazingane was already serving 35 years imprisonment for the 1998 rape, kidnapping and robbery of an attorney's wife and the attack on a motorist who stopped to help her.

Following that conviction in the Johannesburg Regional Court, Mazingane was linked by specialist serial murder investigator Superintendent Piet Byleveld to a murder and rape spree in the Nasrec-Southgate area between 1993 and 1998.

During that time, Mazingane worked mainly as a taxi driver on a route near Southgate and many of his victims boarded his taxi for transport.

One of those who survived was a student on her way to writing a matric exam. She never reached the school and subsequently failed her matric year.

Mazingane's earlier victims were grabbed around the throat, throttled into submission and raped in the bushes near the Southgate shopping mall.

His later victims -- those from 1996 onwards -- were raped and then strangled. A few survived and described to the court how their panties were shoved in their mouths and their hands tied behind their backs.

He even urinated on one victim.

Relatives of the murder victims and survivors and their families crowded the public gallery yesterday and made numerous comments during the defence's closing address.

Mazingane's lawyers told the court he had obtained a certificate in bible studies while he was in Leeuwkop Prison and that his mother had described him as well disciplined and softly spoken. -- Sapa

 
 

Guilty, but no emotion from Nasrec killer

Siyabonga Mkhwanazi - Iol.co.za

November 29, 2002

Serial killer Lazarus Tshidiso Mazingane showed no emotion as he was convicted, over and over again, of raping and strangling his victims.

Johannesburg High Court Judge Joop Labuschagne on Thursday convicted Mazingane, 28, a taxi driver from Diepkloof, Soweto, on 74 charges - including 16 murders and 22 rapes - committed in Johannesburg's Nasrec area between April 1993 and June 1998.

Mazingane remained impassive as Labuschagne passed judgment. His eyes remained fixed on his seTswana interpreter throughout the proceedings and he neither looked at the families of his victims nor at his counsel, advocate Evelyn Magoloane.

Mazingane did once glance at the police officer who had tracked him down, Superintendent Piet Byleveld.

When judgment was completed, Mazingane walked down to the cells under heavy security without lifting his head, even for a second.

Apart from the rape and murder convictions, Mazingane was also found guilty on five counts of attempted murder, three of kidnapping, 20 of robbery and one of assault with the intent to do grievous bodily harm, two of illegal possession of a firearm and three of illegal possession of ammunition.

Labuschagne acquitted Mazingane on the first of the 75 charges against him, that of murdering Busisiwe Rosetta Tshabalala, of Evaton, in April 1993.

Tshabalala was burnt death after her home was doused with petrol and a heater deliberately left on to ignite the fumes.

Labuschagne said there was not enough evidence to prove Mazingane's guilt beyond reasonable doubt.

However, on all 74 of the other charges, said Labuschagne, Mazingane was guilty.

"The state has succeeded in proving the accused guilty beyond reasonable doubt," he said, adding that there were striking similarities in all the murders.

"The deceased were young women. They were discovered in a naked or semi-naked condition. They were all raped, robbed and strangled. The victims were found close to a known taxi route," said the judge.

Items used to strangle the victims were their own personal items, such as bras, panties or belts, he said. In some cases the victims had been tied up.

Mazingane was linked by DNA evidence to nine of the cases in which victims had been raped.

"We reject his ridiculous explanation that the investigating officer must have planted his sperm on the victims," said the judge.

Prosecutor Gerrit Roberts called for life sentences for each of the murders, and long sentences for other crimes. He said Mazingane had shown no remorse.

Magoloane asked the court to consider the fact that the accused had lacked parental supervision and control while being raised by his grandmother in Diepkloof.

"Lack of parental supervision contributed towards his personality defect," she said.

 
 

Nasrec killer convicted on all but one charge

Iol.co.za

November 28, 2002

Nasrec serial killer Lazarus Mazingane, who "prowled the streets and shopping malls looking for victims to rape and kill" will be sentenced next week after he was found guilty on 74 charges on Thursday.

The prosecution has asked for life sentences to be imposed on 27-year-old Mazingane for each of the 16 counts of murder on which he was convicted.

He was also convicted on 20 charges of aggravated robbery, 22 of rape, three of kidnapping, five of attempted murder, one of assaulting his wife and seven counts of contravening the Firearms Act.

The sentences will be delivered in the Johannesburg High Court on Tuesday.

State advocate Gerrit Roberts placed aggravating factors before Judge Joop Labuschagne on Thursday prior to sentencing.

He called on pathologist Patricia Klepp to describe the horror of the last four minutes of a strangled victim's life. Strangulation was Mazingane's preferred method of killing.

Klepp said that if the person struggled, death would take longer despite the fact that irreversible brain damage sets in after four minutes.

She said that in some instances, the blood would flow to the brain and, unable to return to the body, it would cause increased pressure and the bursting of blood vessels.

In addition to the 16 life sentences, Roberts called for lengthy imprisonment for the rest of the 74 charges.

Mazingane was found not guilty on only one charge - the murder of his former employer's wife.

The court heard from Roberts that Mazingane was already serving 35 years imprisonment for the 1998 rape, kidnapping and robbery of an attorney's wife and the attack on a motorist who stopped to help her.

Following that conviction in the Johannesburg Regional Court, Mazingane was linked by specialist serial murder investigator Superintendent Piet Byleveld to a murder and rape spree in the Nasrec-Southgate area between 1993 and 1998.

During that time, Mazingane worked mainly as a taxi driver on a route near Southgate and many of his victims boarded his taxi for transport purposes.

One of those who survived was a student on her way to writing a matric exam. She never reached the school and subsequently failed her matric year.

Mazingane's earlier victims were grabbed around the throat, throttled into submission and raped in the bushes near the Southgate shopping mall.

His later victims - those from 1996 onwards - were raped and then strangled. A few survived and described to the court how their panties were shoved in their mouths and their hands tied behind their backs.

He even urinated on one victim.

Relatives of the murder victims and survivors and their families crowded the public gallery on Thursday and made numerous comments during the defence's closing address.

Mazingane's lawyers told the court he had obtained a certificate in bible studies while he was in Leeuwkop Prison and that his mother had described him as well disciplined and softly spoken.

But the public gallery voiced its agreement with the state's submission, in closing argument, that Mazingane showed no remorse and that the courts should do all in their power "to protect the dignity and the rights of women".

During conviction on the 74 charges Mazingane showed no emotion, staring straight in front of him and constantly blinking.

Mazingane's trial took nine months, 27 witnesses testified and there were more than 30 box files of documents for the 75 charges. Judgement took four days. - Sapa

 
 

'Father' of Nasrec killings suspect testifies

May 22, 2002

JOHANNESBURG -- Sydney Nobele and his wife Busisiwe Tshabalala had regarded Nasrec serial killer accused Tshidiso Lazarus Mazingane as their son -- but, it is alleged, Tshabalala was to become his first victim.

Mazingane, 27, on Monday pleaded not guilty to 75 charges including 17 murders, attempted murder, rape, robbery, assault and possession of an illegal firearm.

He is alleged to have raped and murdered women by strangling them with items of their clothing in the Nasrec area during a five-year reign of terror between March 1993 and November 1998.

Taking the witness stand yesterday Nobele, who was married to the woman considered the first victim of the Nasrec killer, vehemently denied an assertion by the defence that he had been involved in her murder.

Tshabalala was killed in her home in Palm Springs, near Vereeniging, on April 13, 1993, when she was hit over the head with an iron bar, doused with paraffin and left near a burning heater.

The paraffin caught fire, setting the house alight in the process causing fatal burns to Tshabalala.

Nobele said he and his late wife once regarded Mazingane as a son. He told the court that he met Mazingane during the early 1990s and employed him at his Diepkloof coal yard, later giving him shelter on a plot he owned at Orange Farm.

During cross-examination, advocate Evelyn Mogolane for Mazingane, said her client would deny being present at the Nobele home in Palm Springs on the night of the murder.

She further held that information in her possession indicated that it had actually been Nobele who on that night assaulted his own wife after an argument between the two, poured paraffin over her body and left her near the burning heater.

Nobele denied the allegation but when pressed admitted that at the time of his wife's death, he was having an affair with a woman in Diepkloof -- whom he subsequently married.

The trial continues. -- DDC

 
 

Dossier of horror lands in High Court

April 21, 2002

The trial of an alleged stalker, who is said to have raped his victims and then strangled them with their underwear, is due to start on Monday.

Lazarus Tshidiso Mazingane, 27, from Diepkloof, Soweto, faces 75 charges in the Johannesburg High Court.

Among them are 17 murders, 22 rapes and three kidnaps. More than a year has been set aside for the trial, and more than 300 people have been listed as witnesses.

The hefty, 83-page indictment tells the grim story of a man who is believed to have started killing in April 1993, and is said to have continued his murderous spree until mid-1998. Many of the murders were apparently committed with an accomplice

However, according to advocate Nicolette Bell, who drew up the indictment, charges have been provisionally withdrawn against Mazingane's co-accused, who is also in prison. The two grew up together.

"It would not have been right to try them together. We decided to separate the cases because they didn't work together on all the murders," Bell said, adding that it was unlikely that Mazingane's alleged accomplice would testify against him.

The indictment includes chilling details of Mazingane's alleged five-year-long rape and killing spree. The murders were linked after Superintendent Piet Byleveld of the Serious and Violent Crimes Unit picked up a pattern in the so-called Nasrec murders.

According to the summary of facts outlined by the state, Mazingane witnessed an argument between his employer, Sydney Nobele, and his wife, Busiswe Tshabalala, at their home in Palm Springs, Sebokeng, on April 13 1993.

During the argument, Nobele is alleged to have hit Tshabalala on the head with an iron bar.

He and Mazingane then allegedly poured paraffin over her and placed her body near a heater. She died of burns after part of the house burnt down.

But it was not until two years later, on March 6, 1995, that Mazingane is believed to have struck again. Acting with his accomplice, he is alleged to have raped, robbed and murdered Margaret Dineo Mollo.

This murder was followed by another the following day. The victim remains unidentified.

From then on, Mazingane's alleged trail of terror intensified. Allegedly using the victim's underwear, or anything he could find at the scene of the crime, he would allegedly strangle his victims, rape them and often leave them dead. Only six of his 22 alleged rape victims survived the attacks.

Another murder which captured media attention was the brutal rape and murder of schoolgirl Prudence Miller. On May 6, 1996, the teenager took a taxi to Parktown Girls' High, but never arrived. Her body was found near the intersection of Sport and Nasrec roads.

As the years passed, Mazingane is believed to have started using a firearm. He also apparently began hijacking motorists along the highways in the Nasrec area.

On July 24, 1997 he is alleged to have hijacked Gert Aspeling, 66, and his wife Elsie, 62, when they pulled over on a highway after a tyre got a puncture.

Mazingane and his accomplice apparently offered to help change the wheel. When Aspeling refused the help, he was ordered to hand over the car keys.

Aspeling apparently ignored the order, got back into his car and was shot several times. His body was thrown out of the car, and Mazingane and his accomplice allegedly drove off with Elsie Aspeling in the car.

The crippled Elsie Aspeling was offloaded in a mealie field near Eikenhof, south of Johannesburg, where she was found at noon the following day.

The court will hear that Mazingane has been linked by DNA to many of the attacks. These forensic matches are what eventually ended the long-term search for the men who had killed so many women and dumped their bodies in the veld around the Nasrec area.

At the time the case was apparently solved by Byleveld, Mazingane was found to have been imprisoned for another crime.

The 17 murder charges

Murder 1: April 13, 1993
Busiswe Rosetta Tshabalala was struck on the head and burnt to death after her body was left next to a heater.

Murder 2: March 1995
Margaret Mollo Dineo disappeared on March 6 1995. Her body was discovered in the veld near the intersection of Nasrec and Aerodrome roads on June 6 1995. She had been raped and strangled.

Murder 3: March 7, 1995
An unidentified woman was raped and strangled. Her body was found at the intersection of Nasrec and Sport roads.

Murder 4: March 24 - 31, 1996
Lindileni Paulina Mahlangu was robbed, raped and murdered. Her body was found at the intersection of Akker and Brandybush streets in Ormonde.

Murder 5: May 1, 1996
Kedibone Catherine Maepe was raped and strangled. Her body was found near the intersection of Spencer and Main Reef roads in Roodepoort.

Murder 6: May 4, 1996
Prudence Miller took a taxi to Parktown Girls' High but never arrived. She was raped and strangled, and her body was found near the intersection of Sport and Nasrec roads.

Murder 7: May 1, Aug 10, 1996
Gladys Mabaso was robbed, raped and strangled. Her body was found in the veld in Naturena.

Murder 8: May 2, 1996
Queen Mnguni was robbed, raped and murdered. Her body was found near New Canada Road in Soweto.

Murder 9: May 6, 1996
Glen-Rose Vilakazi was assaulted, robbed, raped and strangled. Her body was found in the veld in the Nasrec-Aeroton area.

Murder 10: May 17, 1996
Minah Msimanga was raped and strangled. Her body was found near a road intersection with Pat Mbatha highway on the outskirts of Ophirton.

Murder 11: June 6, 1996
Prudence Mohomane was robbed, raped and strangled. Her body was found alongside the N1 highway in the Nasrec area.

Murder 12: July 5-15, 1996
Maria Tshabalala was robbed, raped and strangled. Her body was found near the corner of Rifle Range Road and the Golden Highway.

Murder 13: Nov 26, 1996
Utlwang Dorah Koma was raped and strangled. Her body was found near the M2 West, near Crown Mines.

Murder 14: July 24, 1997
Gert Aspeling was hijacked and shot dead when he stopped to change a tyre on the N12 near the Old Potchefstroom Road.

Murder 15: Oct 23, 1997
Joaquim Manuel Ferreira was shot when he stopped his bakkie on the N1 near the Rand Show offramp. He died in hospital of his injuries four days later.

Murder 16: February 27, 1998
Palesa Molapisi was robbed, raped and strangled. Her body was found in Meadowlands Ext 4, Soweto.

Murder 17: April 23, 1998
Susan Mlaba was attacked, raped and murdered. Her body was found near Mzimhlope women's hostel, Orlando, Soweto.