Pretoria - The sentencing procedures of serial rapist Ishmael Simelane have had to be postponed for a third time as he apparently did not feel like pitching up from jail to face his fate.
By Friday, Pretoria High Court Judge Jody Kollapen had had his fill.
The judge ordered that the head of Pretoria’s Local Prison, where Simelane is incarcerated, had to present a report to the court on Thursday as to the measures the prison had in place to ensure that prisoners pitched up at court.
Simelane had several times in the past also been absent for court proceedings.
It is understood that he simply does not respond when prison officials call out the names of the prisoners who have to be transported to court on that particular day.
Simelane has also fired two of his defence counsel in the past and elected to defend himself.
At first, he wanted a probation officer’s report to be placed before court regarding sentencing as “they [social workers] would give him counselling at the same time”.
But when the time came for the social workers to interview him, he apparently refused to co-operate.
Sentencing procedures were due to proceed, but apart from Simelane being absent, he also gave notice to the State that he now again wanted to request a probation officer’s report.
The court sent the truck that transports the prisoners to court, back to the prison to fetch Simelane, but this was all in vain.
The 27-year-old man from Hammanskraal was convicted earlier on 25 charges, ranging from rape and sexual assault to abduction as well as extortion.
He also robbed his victims.
As with most serial rapists, his victims described him as being an extremely polite and charming man at first, before he turned violent and raped or sexually abused them.
Seven women fell prey to Simelane during 2010.
They all had the same tale to tell – how they fell for his polite offer to “obtain work for them”.
They all believed the well dressed man, but their lives soon turned into a nightmare.
While some women were raped – some twice – others were sexually assaulted.
In nearly all the cases their attacker took their cellphones and phoned their families to demand a ransom for their safe return.
One woman testified in tears how Simelane had threatened to cut off her breasts.
“He said I had to scream while he severed my breasts, or else the muti would not work.”
When he realised that she was menstruating at the time, Simelane told her “he could do nothing with her”.
All the witnesses, most of whom he met in the Pretoria CBD and took to Mabopane and other areas with promises of work, identified him during an identification parade.
He denied the rapes and accused the police of framing him.
The hearing was postponed to Thursday.