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David SIMELANE gets death penalty, to be hanged

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By LINDA JELE - SWAZI TIMES-02-Apr-2011

MBABANE – As if he was going for a trip abroad and would come back, serial killer David Simelane bade farewell to spectators at the High Court with a beaming smile, as he was whisked away.

Yesterday may have been the last day some people will ever see Simelane, as he was sentenced to a death penalty by Judge Jacobus Annandale. Sime-lane (55) will be hanged. This marked the end of the protracted criminal case of the serial murder convict. He was last week found guilty on 28 counts of murder, for killing 25 women and three children.

Simelane was dressed in brown casual shoes, purple tracksuit pants and a white striped short sleeved shirt. He looked his usual calm self for the duration of the sentence as he sat in the accused dock, frequently drinking water from an Energade juice bottle.

Judge Jacobus Annan-dale ordered Simelane to stand up as he addressed him on the sentence. Throughout the period when Judge Annandale was handing down the sentence, Simelane stood with both hands on the counter.

He faced downwards when the judge said there were no extenuating circumstances in the matter. Meanwhile, as the judge read the sentence the courtroom was so quiet that one would have heard a pin drop and the tension could be cut with a knife. But soon after hearing the sentence members of the public consisting of mostly women, who filled the public gallery, applauded and ululated.

The judge had to call them to order as they clapped hands and shouted when he said Simelane would be given a death penalty and would be hanged. Simelane stood transfixed in the accused dock as Judge Annandale left the courtroom and his face was expressionless.

Correctional Services officers whisked him away to the steps leading to the underground cells at Court A. But just as he was about to disappear into the cells, Simelane did what surprised those who were present in court - he waved ‘goodbye’ with a bright smile.

Yesterday marked nine years and 24 days since Sime-lane’s arrest in Nhlangano on April 25, 2001. Before the sentencing, Simelane’s attorney Mduduzi ‘Tsotsi’ Mabila had submitted that there were extenuating circumstances in the case in that Simelane had admitted in his confession that he killed the women out of revenge for having been wrongfully convicted of rape.

He claimed he never committed the rape. Mabila further asked the court not to consider Simelane’s previous convictions when handing down its sentence. When Mabila said the other cases were irrelevant to the murder case because they involved robbery and rape, there were murmurs from the public gallery.

The Director of Public Prosecutions Mumcy Dlamini said there were no extenuating circumstances that could prevent Simelane from being sentenced to death. She also wondered why Simelane killed the children if he said he murdered the women out of revenge following the rape case. Judge Annandale seemed taken aback when Mabila said he would not take Simelane to the witness box to lead evidence in mitigation. Mabila briefly consulted with Simelane and submitted that the court should consider that he was a first offender in respect of murder.

He asked Judge Annandale to take into account that Simelane had committed the offences out of vengeance. "Sentencing is discretionary, but the court has to take into account the surrounding factors enshrined in the Constitution. In conclusion, it is in the hands of the court to decide the appropriate sentence," said Mabila.

DPP submits eight of David’s previous convictions

MBABANE – The DPP Mumcy Dlamini yesterday submitted records of eight previous convictions of serial killer David Simelane.

She told the court that the offences for which Simelane was convicted dated as far back as 1976. Dlamini also said Simelane (55) was last convicted for rape in 1993. She said the offences ranged from robbery to rape. She submitted the records for Judge Jacobus Annandale to consider when delivering the sentence of the 28 counts of murder he was convicted for last week.

She further said Simelane began to serve the sentence of the last conviction on June 23, 1993 and was released from prison sometime in 1999. Simelane’s lawyer Mduduzi ‘Tsotsi’ Mabila submitted before court that the records should not be considered because they were irrelevant to the case.

He said the law stipulates that previous convictions considered are for offences which are similar to the current one. "These convictions are of no applicability and irrelevant because they are 18 years old. They are not of murder. Rape is not a competent verdict for murder," Mabila said.

The DPP Mumcy Dlamini, in response, submitted that the records of the offences should be considered because Simelane premeditated to kill the women while serving in prison and when he was released in 1999, he committed the crimes.

Sohlangana kwelizayo David - family

MBABANE – Serial Killer David Simelane’s family said the death penalty serves him right. Simelane’s aunt Alexinah Simelane said if David eventually faces the noose, her last words to the killer would be: "Ubolala ngekuthula David, sitobonana kwelizayo. Nan-gabe bewukholwa, sitobo-nana ezulwini. Nangabe bowungakholwa, utawuya esihogweni."

This loosely translated means: "You must rest in peace David, we will meet in the other world. If you were a Christian, we will meet in heaven but if you are not, you will go to hell," she said.

His aunt said even if David is eventually hanged, she would not collect his remains from the correctional institution.

"I will ask government to take care of the corpse because David showed that he did not want to live with other people. We live on land that is administered by a chief, so we do not think the chief would ever agree to him being buried here too. Let him be buried like all the others who do what he has done," she sternly said.

Alexinah said she did not feel pity for the man who killed 28 people because his victims were relatives of other people. "I think the death sentence will fit him well because there was no reason for him to stay in jail for ever," she said.

When asked why she had no pity on David despite that he was reportedly a born again Christian preaching to the unsaved in prison, Simelane likened the serial killer to a cannibal. "If a cannibal lives on human flesh, it will always kill to eat," she said.

David’s family has never visited him in jail since he was arrested because they were scared of being associated with his cases. Over a week ago before the verdict that found him guilty, they said they would not welcome him back home in the event he was found not guilty. Even the authorities in the area said Simelane was not welcome to come back to the area.

  David never showed any remorse – Judge

MBABANE – David Simelane has never shown any signs of remorse throughout his trial, Judge Jacobus Annandale noted.

He said the serial killer did not, at any point, make any attempts to apologise to the families of the 28 deceased he had been convicted to have killed about 10 years ago.

Judge Annandale said Simelane only submitted an excuse that he killed the women out of revenge after he was wrongly imprisoned for having raped a woman. "I have not heard, in the trial, one word of apology or remorse from Simelane. There was not even a half-hearted attempt to show apology. Each of the 28 victims had relatives, or friends, but to none of them did he show remorse," Judge Annandale said.

The judge also said it was the first time he had to convict a person who had committed such a number of murders, which had been pre-meditated. He said Simelane admitted in his confession that he decided while in prison that he would revenge for the wrong conviction.

He further told Simelane that it was wrong of him to have sought revenge by killing any woman he came across, instead of at least focusing on the one woman for whom he was wrongly convicted. He said Simelane enticed the women with jobs, but while preparing to go to the places of purported employment, he killed them.

"You also killed the innocent souls of infants. You have shown no iota of remorse and the court cannot find that you are sorry for what you did. The issue you are complaining about was at the Magistrates Court. So you should have appealed at the High Court and further to the Supreme Court if you would not have been pleased with the High Court outcome," Judge Annandale said.

Judge Annandale also said he would not accept that Simelane did not know the procedure to follow when one is not satisfied with a judgment considering that he has been in and out of prison a number of times


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