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By Enkosi Selane

Digital Journalist

Sifiso Mkhwanazi planned to murder sex workers, investigating officer tells court

Sergeant Mbonambi presented photos of the bodies of the sex workers who were discovered with their hands and legs tied.

Sergeant Bongani Mbonambi, the investigating officer in the case of the man accused of killing six sex workers in 2022, told the court that Sifiso Mkhwanazi planned the murders.

Mbonambi took the stand for the second time at the Palm Ridge Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday.

In his testimony, the officer presented evidence disputing the accused’s claim of not premeditating the murder of the six Zimbabwean sex workers.

Mkhwanazi previously admitted to killing the sex workers. He, however, denied the seven counts of rape, six counts of obstructing the administration of justice, robbery with aggravating circumstances, and unlawful possession of a firearm and ammunition.

DNA of victims

During court proceedings, Mbonambi revealed the DNA results from three of Mkhwanazi’s identified victims. All results came back positive when they were tested against the sex workers’ family members.

The identity of Chihota Nyarai, the first sex worker to be revealed, was discovered through her cellphone found in Mkhwanazi’s backpack.

Nyarai’s daughter validated her mother’s missing report and confirmed that the phone looked like the one her mother had.

According to Mbonambi, the IMEI number found on the phone’s box at the sex workers house matched with the number at the back of the victim’s phone.

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Furthermore, fingerprint testing along with teeth taken from the deceased were matched against the daughter’s DNA.

“The probability of maternity was 99.8%,” Mbonambi confirmed.

Patricia Magaiza was the second identified sex worker. A set of her teeth were matched against her mother’s DNA. According to Mbonambi, the results came back positive with a match of 99.97%.

The DNA of the third victim, Joyce Moyo, revealed a strong match of 99.9% to her child’s.

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Three of the victims remain unidentified, however, evidence found at the crime scene suggested a match between two of the deceased’s DNA.

“When our lab did a comparison, they found that the exhibit found in that room [be it condoms, your underwear, spades and the blood] matches the DNA samples taken from” three of the bodies.

“These are different bodies, which were not found in this particular room but rather were concealed laying somewhere in the building. So the conclusion we came up with is that this room was used as a slaughterhouse,” said Mbonambi.

ALSO READ: Sifiso Mkhwanazi confessed to father about killing sex workers, court hears

‘These murders were planned’

In his evidence in chief, Mbonambi presented photos of the bodies of the sex workers who were discovered with their hands and legs tied. The police officer said the evidence in the photos disproves Mkhwanazi’s assertion that the murders were not premeditated.

Mbonambi testified that it did not make any sense to to tie up victims after you had killed them. He further insisted that one would only tie up a victim to prevent them from running or screaming.

The lead investigator also said there was a possibility that Mkhwanazi moved his victims after murdering them.

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“How he operated with these bodies, after he has killed a person then he will conceal the body. But if you look where these bodies were concealed you will need to transport this body to that place.

“We now know that there were wheel dustbins in the factory, and they went missing one by one,” said Mbonambi.

Mbonambi pointed out that the bodies were discovered inside the dustbins, which he alleged Mkhwanazi used to move the bodies.

The officer then told the court that he and other investigators believed that the accused tied the sex workers up in order to rape them several times.

“The amount of used condoms found on the scene makes logical sense to what we are saying,” he said.

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The officer then accused the then 21-year-old of luring his victims by repeatedly picking up girls from the same location until he reached six bodies.

“The accused wants this court to believe that this was a mistake? We strongly reject this my lord. These murders were planned,” argued Mbonambi.

The trial will resume on Monday with Mbonambi’s cross examination by the defence lawyer.

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