Thursday, December 06, 2012

We raped women who couldn’t pay our fare- Taxi drivers tell court

Guilty: Booi Makhubela and his son Rodgers Image: Sowetan
There is no end to the excuses criminals will make when the law catches up with them. A father and son accused of raping 10 women while pretending to be taxi operators in Guateng South Africa have been convicted  in spite of their spirited but ridiculous defence.

Booi  Makhubela and his son, Rodgers put up a spirited defence, namely that they only raped only the women who could not pay.

The Makhubelas also claimed that some of the women they raped were prostitutes, while others had agreed to have sex with them for money. They also claimed that in some instances the sex was to make up the difference for the taxi fare!

They were convicted on 39 counts of rape, assault, kidnapping and robbery committed between 2008 and 2009 in the Johannesburg High Court.

Judge Roland Sutherland said while he noted that Booi did not rape some of the women, his involvement in the crimes was obvious.

"He lured all the women and pointed out which taxi they should board and he was the driver of the taxi," Judge Sutherland said.
Booi was found guilty on 14 counts of rape, six of robbery with aggravating circumstances, nine of kidnapping and one of assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm.

His son was convicted on 12 charges of rape, eight robberies - seven with aggravating circumstances, eight of kidnapping and two of assault.

The court heard that the Makhubelas were part of a four-man gang that targeted women who were looking for transport between Pretoria and Johannesburg.

After the women had boarded their "taxi", they kidnapped, robbed, assaulted and raped them.

One of their accomplices, Issack Nxumalo, is already serving a 20-year jail term after he confessed to the crime.

Also charged separately is Makhubela's nephew, Collins Chauke, whose case is currently being heard in the Alexandra Regional Court.

Though it is alleged that the four men committed the crimes together, the National Prosecuting Authority decided to separate Chauke and Nxumalo cases from that of the Makhubela's.

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