During the sentencing proceedings in the Pretoria High Court, shocking revelations emerged about Nkosinathi Phakathi, known as the Ekurhuleni serial rapist. Phakathi claimed that he was under the influence of evil spirits when he committed a series of heinous crimes, including rape, between 2012 and 2021.
These startling assertions came to light through a psychosocial report presented by Dr. Lynette Roux, a clinical psychologist who had conducted numerous consultations with Phakathi. In November of the previous year, Phakathi had been found guilty of a staggering 148 charges, encompassing rape, kidnapping, theft, and assault intending to cause grievous bodily harm.
Among the convictions were 90 counts of rape, four of compelled rape, three related to causing a child to witness a sexual act, 43 counts of kidnapping, four theft charges, two sexual assault charges, and two counts of assault intending to cause grievous bodily harm.
Phakathi’s chilling account during the sentencing described how his criminal behaviour commenced in 2012. He explained that he would struggle to sleep and often sleepwalk in the early hours, typically between 02:00 and 03:00. During these walks, he claimed to go anywhere and would become tired around 05:00 or 06:00, at which point he would rape his victims.
Phakathi astonishingly attributed this bizarre behaviour to ancestral spirits who were supposedly angered by a change in his surname. This revelation followed his discovery that he had a different father from his seven siblings.
According to Dr. Roux, Phakathi described an irresistible urge to walk as if pressured by an internal force. He reported hearing a voice in his head that directed him in his actions and dictated whom he should rape. He preferred to carry out these acts in secluded areas like bushes rather than on the streets.
Phakathi recounted that in 2012, he approached a girl while walking, engaged her in conversation, and then led her to a nearby bush where he touched her with his penis, although he claimed not to have penetrated her. Overcome by guilt and confusion, he took a week off from work but could not confide in his mother or girlfriend because he feared they wouldn’t understand, especially given that he was a father himself.
In his struggle against these evil forces, Phakathi stated that he resorted to prayer, consulted a prophet, and performed traditional rituals, all in an attempt to combat the spirits. However, his criminal activities continued unabated.
Phakathi’s crimes came to light through DNA evidence and his consistent modus operandi. He often approached victims under the pretence of installing meter box geysers or posing as a house inspector, food distributor, or someone seeking directions. He would then rob and sexually assault his victims while threatening them with violence if they reported the incidents to the police.
Phakathi was eventually apprehended in March 2021 in Barcelona, Etwatwa. The sentencing proceedings have been postponed to September 27, allowing for further consideration of this disturbing case.
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Photo: Supplied by Benoni City Times