Life sentence for Port Alfred rapist

By Adrienne Carlisle

A “RACIST” rapist and escape artist, Mahluban- dile Mavikela, 25, was sentenced to life imprisonment yesterday for the horrific double rape of a Port Alfred woman in her home in 2008.

Judge Mandela Makaula described Mavikela’s treatment of the woman as disgusting, demeaning, humiliating and appalling, both during the rape and during the trial in the Grahamstown High Court.

Although he pleaded guilty to the double rape, Mavikela first claimed in his testimony that the devil made him do it and then insinuated his victim had “led him on”.

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Mavikela broke into the 47-year-old woman’s home armed with a knife, raped her twice and then robbed her of money and other possessions.

During his testimony, he said she had been dressed in a transparent nightgown and had encouraged him by smiling at him and standing close to him.

Makaula said it was not humanly possible for a woman to behave this way after having been woken up by a strange man wielding a large knife. He said it was “disgusting” that Mavikela could insinuate she had led him on. “It is humiliating and demeaning in the worst possible way.”

He said Mavikela felt no remorse and had pleaded guilty only because the evidence was overwhelming. Police had found his fingerprints at the scene and his DNA was found on swabs taken from the victim. Mavikela also pleaded guilty to attempted theft, housebreaking with intent to rob, and robbery with aggravating circumstances.

Makaula said that although Mavikela had apologised for his actions, his conduct in court had not been apologetic.

He said he believed the victim’s evidence. The woman testified that she had been terrified when she woke up to find Mavikela armed with a large knife in her home. She had begged for her life and told him she would do anything if he spared her life for the sake of her children.

During the rape, Mavikela had told her he was only doing to her what her forefathers had done to his ancestors.

Makaula said Mavikela’s statements indicated the rape was also racially motivated. “It indicates that, in this day and age, he harbours a hatred against our fellow white South Africans, particularly vulnerable women. He poses a danger to our communities, particularly to the white race.”

The woman told the court she felt degraded, humiliated and dirty after the rape.

She still suffered from anxiety and palpitations.

Makaula slammed Mavikela’s suggestion that he had raped the woman because she was wearing a revealing and transparent nightgown.

“She was in the sanctity of her own home and nothing precludes her from wearing such clothes or sleeping naked if she so wished. He intruded on her privacy.”

Makaula said that although Mavikela was young his long criminal record — starting in 2001 — showed he was graduating to more serious offences and was a threat to the community. He had four previous theft convictions, two for assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm and three for housebreaking.

The judge also referred to Mavikela’s spectacular escape from the Port Alfred Magistrate’s Court in 2009. He had scaled a 2m-high wall with police in hot pursuit and had managed to remain free until June this year.

Makaula said Mavikela was clearly not a good candidate for rehabilitation. “No sentence seems to deter him,” he said.

He sentenced him to life imprisonment for rape and a further 21 years for housebreaking, attempted theft and robbery with aggravating circumstances.

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