The man accused of raping and then murdering a woman before hiding her body in a maintenance shaft in the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries building in Pretoria in 2017, was on parole when he allegedly committed the crimes
The accused, who cannot be named until he pleaded to the charges, appeared briefly in the Gauteng High Court in Pretoria, sitting in the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday.
His trial was due to start on Wednesday but was postponed to Thursday as the accused changed his mind about his defence. News24 understands that he will plead guilty to all the charges.
The accused faced nine charges, including one of murder and two of rape.
News24 previously reported that a security guard discovered the decomposing body of Nomathamsanqa Regina Majola, 28, during the department’s Christmas break on 28 December 2017. She worked as a contracted cleaner at the department.
Majola was reported missing on 22 December 2017, a day after she reportedly disappeared from work during a tea break, police spokesperson Captain Daniel Mavimbela said at the time.
It is alleged that the accused lured Majola to the seventh floor of the building where she worked under the false pretense of looking for the building’s pipes, according to the charge sheet seen by News24.
Once in the secluded maintenance area, the accused allegedly grabbed Majola and strangled her until she lost consciousness. He then allegedly raped her. He allegedly killed her in a manner unknown to the State before throwing her body down a maintenance shaft in the building.
The accused then allegedly used Majola’s bank card, withdrawing two amounts of R2 000 and R1 700 from an ATM at Sancardia Mall in Tshwane.
Detective had to overcome ‘lack of direct evidence’
Later on the day of the murder, he allegedly purchased items to the value of R334,90 at the Waltloo Meat and Chicken Market, using her bank card.
Nearly a year later, the accused was arrested in Mamelodi in November 2018.
“Detective Sergeant Jeremiah Mpiti had to overcome a lack of direct evidence by piecing together facts through a meticulous investigation, leading to the arrest of a 34-year-old man in Mamelodi on Friday [16 November 2018],” Mavimbela previously said.
While still on the run, the accused allegedly raped another woman on 24 September 2018 near the Stanza Bopape Clinic in Mamelodi.
According to the charge sheet, the victim was walking with her boyfriend when the accused and two other men accosted them.
The victim’s boyfriend was allegedly struck on the head with the butt of a firearm several times and was robbed of his belongings. The accused then allegedly took the victim to a nearby place and raped her.
It is further understood that the accused was on parole at the time of these crimes.
The accused was previously found guilty of attempted murder and rape in KwaMhlanga, Mpumalanga. He was sentenced to 18 years in prison in 2007 but only served about eight years before being released on parole in November 2015.
His parole was supposed to end in 2024.