David's fate sealed, he will hang
MBABANE – Serial killer David Simelane expressed disappointment after his appeal against the death sentence was set aside.
He immediately bowed his head and held it with both hands. His facial expression changed from that dry smile he usually wears. Simelane did not need any assistance to hear the verdict of his appeal, by being interpreted in vernacular.
He has in the past exhibited fluency of the queen’s language.
As soon as Judge Bheki Maphalala read the last line of the judgment stating, ‘accordingly, the appeal is dismissed in its entirety and the sentences imposed are confirmed,’ he seemed to be clenching his teeth as his chick bones tightened. Now that the case has been dealt with by the Supreme Court, Simelane’s attempts to evade the death sentence have hit the ceiling. He has to be hanged.
Supreme Court judges Ahmed Ebrahim, Dr Seth Twum and Maphalala unanimously agreed that Simelane’s conduct of killing 28 women and children had sunk to the very depths of depraved and evil conduct and he does not deserve any sympathy.
Simelane was seated in his usual corner of the accused dock at courtroom A, a place he has occupied for over six years, in the mid of two Correctional Services officers. He was clad in a sky blue sweat shirt and kaki casual pants. Before the judgment he smiled as this reporter greeted him and jokingly asked the publication’s photographers if he was not tired of taking pictures of him.
In the judgment Judge Ebrahim disagreed with Simelane’s lawyer that it was wrongful for the High Court to convict his client based on a confession, which had not been made voluntarily and following the dictates of the law. Mabila had argued that Simelane, upon arrest, was supposed to have been taken to a magistrate expeditiously, but it took the police two weeks.
However, Ebrahim said while that may be so, Simelane’s case was peculiar and the delay was perfectly understandable. He said the police were investigating a person believed to be a serial killer and their investigations related to 41 murders.
"It would have been physically impossible for them (police) to have concluded their preliminary investigations anytime sooner. The appellant (Simelane) made indications at the scenes where the bodies were found, he had to be shown clothing allegedly worn by the victims and so on. I therefore, see nothing untoward in the appellant only being brought before the magistrate when he was brought before him," Ebrahim said.
He said the confession made by Simelane before the late Manzini Magistrate Charles Masango was properly admitted before the High Court. He said the Crown had relied on indications provided by Simelane and recovered bodies of the victims.
He said in his view, there was wealth of evidence proving that Simelane had committed the murders, for instance, each of the victims had last been seen in the company of Simelane. Simelane, in the confessions, had said he had killed the women and children out of revenge after he had been sent to custody for having raped a woman he had robed. He said he had only robed the woman.
He spent six years in prison, from 1992 to 1998 for the offences and stated that he came out with one thing in mind; to revenge on any woman. He had said that had he met the woman who was a complainant in the offence he had been convicted for, he would not have killed so many women.
Judge Ebrahim said Simelane never showed any remorse for the murderous conduct.
"This has been one of the most serious cases I have ever dealt with both in my career as a State Counsel or as a Judge. The learned judge a quo was entirely correct in finding no extenuating circumstances and consequently imposing the ultimate penalty," Judge Ebrahim said.
... Judge Annandale handled case well
MBABANE – The trial Judge Jacobus Annandale has been praised for the manner in which he handled David Simelane’s case.
Supreme Court Judge Ahmed Ebrahim Judge Annandale meticulously crafted the judgment before the High Court and it was clear that he was cautious to ensure that Simelane was always granted a fair trial.
Though, Judge Ebrahim said, out of abundance of caution in ensuring that Simelane was afforded a trial beyond reproach, Judge Annandale observed caution even on evidence Ebrahim considered as admissible.
However, Judge Ebrahim expressed concern that the trial took about 10 years from Simelane’s arrest in April 2001 to conclusion on January 31, 2011. He noted that Simelane’s trial commenced on May 29, 2006.
He said it was the Crown’s duty to ensure that his trial commenced timeously and sufficient court time was afforded. He also said the crown should have made it clear to Simelane’s lawyer, of its intentions to see the case finalised without undue delay.
"This was not done and it was only when the present Chief Justice Michael Ramodibedi took office that this fiasco was brought to an end following his insistence that this case is given priority and all decks be cleared in order that this totally unacceptable situation is rectified," Judge Ebrahim said.
he strangled most of victims
MBABANE – Most of serial killer David Simelane’s victims were strangled with his bare hands.
Only a few were stabbed or killed through both acts. This is contained in the confession he made before the late Manzini Magistrate Charles Masango two weeks after his arrest in April 2001. He stated that he led most of the women to A6 forest at Malkerns with the promise that he would give them jobs.
He stated that he enticed the women into the forest by telling them that the people who would eventually hire them stayed on the other side of the forest in some rented flats.
He named the women by names and surnames and only a few he remembered by their surnames. He stated that he would strangle them to death and such was in revenge for serving a six-year sentence for a rape offence he had not committed.
"All the women did not know the way there and what was beyond the forest. I stabbed those that I stabbed, because, they would fight me back. I had the money to gamble at lotto machines, play cards for money or play the dice game," reads the confession.