Private Bag X04
"Why are you afaid of death?
Your are going to die anyway"-Sipho Dube to Petronella Ndlovu who became a state witness
Deep in the mountainous, meandering and captivating scenery of the valley of Mhlumayo in Ladysmith, a serial killer and rapist was lurking.
Residents of the area hope he rots in jail and burns in hell because of the suffering he has caused.
They say they endured hardship and difficulty as he sowed a reign of terror, raping young girls and stealing at will.
Just the mention of his name sends shivers down your spine.
Sipho Dube had no documented history. His birth was never registered, he had no identity book and his fingerprints Where not on record - and although he claimed to be 26 at the time, he appeared older.
"He walks with his hands in his pockets. He picks up stompies all the time because he's a chain smoker,"
He grew up in the Mhlomayo area near Nambithi (formerly Ladysmith). While he never went much to school, he taught himself to read in several languages and is fluent in English.
He's described as a loner who liked to hang around shebeens. He moved to Johannesburg late 2002, and made his living by collecting cardboard and scrap metal.
"He moved around a lot and has no fixed address. He claims he is a Christian, and in the past he wanted to be a preacher.
He is a dark black male, 1,65metres tall and of medium build. He has scars on his face and somethimes he wears a beard and moustache.
Dube, now better known as the "Johannesburg mine-dump serial child killer" was troublesome from as young as the age of seven.
"When he was seven-year-old, "he stole his neighbour's portable radio. When he was confronted about it, he told them they were full of shit and should mind their own business."
'Sipho Dube was a stubborn child' When he was in his teens, he started breaking into the neighbours' houses, taking whatever he wanted.
Dube was so troublesome, that before he turned 10, he even stole money from the church altar.
At Mhlumayo Primary School, which he left in Grade five, at the age of 16, his teachers said they knew he would end up in prison.
Fellow pupils were often assaulted and abused by him. Teachers got tired of reprimanding him.
His Grade three teacher, Tozi Sithebe named him "Ndoji", loosely translated as "the one who dodges classes", because of his constant absence from school.
Because his constantly absence Dube had failed to progress in school. The teachers had given up on him because of his lack of discipline and respect for others.
Their attempts to reprimand him for several offences had failed, until Dube left school of his own will.
Each time his family confronted him about being involved in crime, he would ask for forgiveness and say that they should pray to God so that he could change his behaviour.
Dube's neighbours said he was ill-disciplined and often gave their children trouble.
"You would often see him grabbing a young girl on his way to rape her," said one woman, adding that people were so scared of him, they would not attempt to confront him.
Dube's behaviour got worse after a bus accident that confined him to a hospital bed for four months. "After the accident he engaged in house breaking."
In 1997, he recieved an 18-month sentence for attempted theft, in Ladysmith. Later in January 1999, he was sentenced to three months imprisonment for housebreaking also in Ladysmith.
His aunt, Sibongile Lamula said when lead investigating officer Superintendent Piet Byleveld and his team of detectives came to her home in May 2004 to explain the nature of the charges Dube was facing, she was horrified.
"When you look at him you would think they (the police) are just framing him. I become terrified when I hear all the horrible stories about him. People (in the area) are scared of him," she said of her nephew.
The neighbours, who asked not to be identified, said Dube fled the area after he had raped an little girl around 2000. That was the last time they saw him until they heard media reports that he had been arrested for a string of violent crimes.
Dube approached his victims in public places and then taken under bridges, or to mine dumps or bushes were they were assaulted, raped and murdered. It was later proven that he lured his victims by "promising them toys, or pretending to be a police officer or a handyman who could fix electrical appliances for them".
After he'd kidnapped a child, Dube first prayed. If the prayer was a "good one" he let the child go. If it was a "bad" prayer, he murdered the child.
His recollection of kidnapping and then indecently assaulting boys of murdering them was more clear than the crimes involving young girls.
"Victims had head injuries, chest wounds and cerebral trauma,"
March 23, 2001
Rashunthee Hariduth Singh, a widow and mother of two, was last seen when she told her mother, she was going to the bank and would be late returning home.
Inspector Simon Mkhize, found 38 year-old Singh body at a monument near an Indian residential area in Ladysmith while patrolling the area. He testified in court, that Singh had been robbed and her face badly mutilated. She had not been raped.
Upon his arrival at the scene, Mkhize found the body of a woman and noticed a number of big rocks next to her body. The manner in which the woman had been killed made it difficult for him to ascertain her race. Her face was covered in blood and she had terrible facial injuries.
It was only after he had observed the texture of her hair that he concluded that she was of Indian descent.
April 13, 2003
Moses Dlongolo and his common-law wife, Martha Mthimunye reported their 14 years-old, son Thabo missing on April 13 2003.
The police found his body a few kilometres from the family's Regents Park home in Johannesburg's southern suburbs 12 days after his disappearance.
Yet it was almost two-and-a-half years later - on August 25, 2005 - that they told the parents their son had been murdered and that his body had been recovered.
They had to identify the body from police photographs. Thabo's mother said, "It broke my heart when I looked at my sons body in the photographs - both arms were missing."
Mthimunye said on April 13, 2003 she had sent her son to a shop, but he never returned.
Later in the day she received a call from a man who identified himself as "Sipho", saying she must tell her husband that he must forget about his son.
The man called again, telling Dlongolo he had killed his son and he would find his son's body in a bushy area a few kilometres from his Regents Park home.
August 6, 2003
The murders of the Mbuku cousins and that of Lukhanyo Kuwane,10, and Tina Bernardes, 11, could have been averted had police questioned Dube at the scene of 14-year-old Nomnikelo Jumba's murder in August 2003. Nomnikelo was killed in Bertrams, and a reservist constable had failed to question Dube, who had shown detailed knowledge of the killing.
When the policeman arrived at the scene, he didn't notice that Dube's shoes were covered in blood. Dube had told the police officer how Nomnikelo had run down a hill before she collapsed and died, after she was raped.
Dube led the police up the hill and they found Nomnikelo's bloodied school blazer. But they let Dube go without questioning him about the girl's death.
Nomnikelo Jumba had been stabbed in the neck and under the armpit and there were semen found on her trousers.
September 18, 2003
Lukhanyo Kuwane 10 years-old and a 15 year-old friend were on their way home from school when they went to pick some fruit from a tree.
While busy picking some fruit they were approached by a man pushing a trolley loaded with cardboard boxes.
The man asked them to help him carry the boxes, promising to give them R20 each.
The friend said he had refused to accompany Dube or take the R10 he had promised because "I never walk with strangers".
Lukhanyo had then accompanied Dube. A day later, Lukhanyo's badly injured body was found naked on the side of the road in Wemmer Pan, southern Johannesburg, by a motorist.
In his testimony, the motorist "Van der Kolf" said he was driving to his Turffontein home with his wife when he noticed a child lying next to a road. At the scene there were two men who were trying to help the boy.
He said the boy, who was lying naked, had open wounds on his face and was calling his friend's name. Realising the seriousness of the boy's injuries, he called an ambulance, but it never arrived. He and the two men took Lukhanyo and drove him to hospital, were he died the next day.
A state pathologist testified in court that the injuries suffered by Lukhanyo were among the worst she has ever seen.
September 24 2003
For little Anele Mbuku 9 years-old and his cousin Siyabonga Mbuku 12 years-old, the lure of a Rambo-like muscleman toy led to their deaths.
On the day of the boys disappearance, September 24 2003, Anele had arrived home with Dube at Mayfair, Joburg, carrying a toy that Dube had been selling.
Anele's mother, Sophie Mbuku had told Dube she could not afford the toy because she was unemployed and had asked him to leave the house. Thinking Dube had left the area, she sent Anele and Siyabonga to fetch something for her at her sister's house nearby.
After a few minutes, they did not return, and when she went looking for the children, she saw them in Dube's company. She again ordered Dube to stay away from the boys and threatened to call the police.
Mbuku went inside the house, and when she came out five minutes later, Dube and the children were gone. Mbuku said that when Dube first confessed, he told police he had left the boys at a dam, then later that he had dumped their bodies in the veld. On a third occasion, he said he didn't know where their bodies were.
For two months their families searched frantically for them.
Their decomposed bodies were findly found near a dam a few kilometres away from their home.
When Mbuku pointed Dube out during her testimony, he had screamed at her: "I never killed your children. Get out of my face."
Sophie Mbuku, said the boys' disappearance had caused her father and aunt in the Eastern Cape such shock that both of them suffered heart attacks and died.
November 8, 2003
Tina Bernardes 11 years-old, was kidnapped on November 8, 2003. The child's bludgeoned body was found hidden under a bush on a mine dump near the Denver offramp on the M2 highway the following afternoon.
Maria Johnson, aunt of Tina, said she was selling clothing in Jules Street, Malvern, when Dube approached her and asked her to sell two cellphones for him.
She asked Tina and her 12-year-old cousin, to accompany the accused to fetch the phones.
"When they went around the corner, I lost sight of them," Johnson said. Five minutes later, Tina's cousin came to report that Tina was "gone" On the way she had decided not to go on because she began to lose trust in Dube when she smelt alcohol on him.
When Tina failed to return, a massive search was started.
No one has seen Alfred Nyanga for almost three years but the family of little Tina Bernardes will always remember the homeless man as a hero for helping put her killer behind bars.
After Tina's disaperence, her family and community searched through the night for her, with Tina's uncle, Mario Bernardes distributing hundreds of flyers displaying Tina's photograph. "A whole community of people across the race barrier were out there that day helping look for the missing girl.
A few hours later, Mario Bernardes met Nyanga, who was homeless and living under the M2 East interchange bridge. He told Bernardes that he had seen Dube walking with a white girl towards the highway. He recognised Dube, he said, because he often saw him at a scrapyard in Eloff Street.
Bernardes gave Nyanga R50 and asked him to phone him if he saw Dube again. The next day, Nyanga phoned Bernardes and informed him that Dube was at the scrapyard.
Mario Bernardes and his brother, Joaquim, hurried to the scrapyard, where Nyanga pointed Dube out to them. They took Dube to Johnson, who confirmed that he was the man with whom she had sent Tina. Bernardes contacted the police, and on November 9, 2003 they arrested Dube.
Escape and recaptured
Two months later, on 12 January, Dube escaped from Wynberg magistrate's court. He walked out of the building after responding to another prisoner's name.
Later he was arrested under the false name Clifford Mbatha, for attempted theft of a vehicle and stabbing the owner, and send to the Johannesburg Prison.
The owner of the car named Adams, said to police that he was visiting a friend in Malvern, Johannesburg, on January 16 2004. After parking his car outside, he walked into the friend's house, and a few minutes later, his car's alarm went off. He went outside to investigate and noticed three men trying to break into his car.
The men ran away and he gave chase. One of the men, whom he identified in court as Dube, got tired and decided to sit down in the street.
Adams, confronted him over the incident and Dube promised to lead him to the house where his two accomplices lived. The same time the friend he had been visiting arrived at the scene.
While on the way to the house where Dube point out his accomplices, he [Dube] pulled out a knife and stabbed Adams in an arm. It was then that they decided to take Dube to the Cleveland Police station, where he was detained.
During questioning by police, he could remember most of the incidents and sometimes went into great detail about how he'd raped or murdered a child.
Dube's answers to specific questions indicated that his first sexual encounter had been in 1993 when he was still at school. when asked whether he'd ever had sex with a man, he replied that a man, whom he said was gay, had ones forced him to have sex. The man apparently placed his penis between Dube's thights and told Dube to do the same.
This simulation of sex was the same as the experience every one of Dube's male victims apparently had to endure, but to a question if Dube had ever done it with anyone else, he answerd "no".
When asked whether he liked children, Dube said "Yes, there's a difference between children and adults: children are god's children. I like the company of both boys and girls".
In response to a question on wich children's age group was the "best" for him, he said he liked all children, but "mainly" between six and 12 years old.
Before a shocked Johannesburg High Court, Dube displayed the rage and violence that has made him one of the country's worst serial killers.
Judging by his temper and his contempt for the court on previous occasions, Dube was bound to explode; he just needed the spark to ignite him.
A commotion in court during Dube's sentencing was triggered by the presence inside court 2F of photographers who wanted to take pictures of him.
Infuriated by the attempts to photograph him, Dube got angry and then verbally attacked them in Zulu.
Translated, what he said meant: "You can take pictures until your camera starts looking like a vagina. Why can't you go and take pictures of your mother?"
He also tried to attack journalists and family members of some of his victims, before being stopped by half-a-dozen policemen.
Relatives of his victims taunted him, telling him to face the cameras and not to cower in the dock and cover his face with his woollen hat.
"The world needs to see the face of a serial killer," they yelled.
"The blood of our children will haunt you to your grave. You will rot in hell," shouted an emotional family member of one of Dube's victims.
"I will come to you and strangle you". Dube shot back furiously, hurling abuse at those confronting him about his crimes.
In a fit of rage, he pulled out a microphone from the dock and tried to throw it at the victims' families in the gallery, before being stopped.
When The Star's graphic artist, Wilson Mgobhozi, tried to sketch him, Dube shouted: "I don't want to be sketched! Why are you doing that? I will come to you and strangle you!"
The commotion resulted in the police removing him from the dock to the basement cells.
Later Dube refused to come out of the cells, demanding that police remove photographers from the court. He held up proceedings for three-and-a-half hours. The Judge then ordered the police to use reasonable force to bring him back up.
As he finally walked up the steps to the dock, Dube shouted that he was going to commit suicide by setting himself alight because the court did not want to listen to him.
Dube also made it abundantly clear that he was not going to listen to Judge Seun Moshidi. He said he would simply close his ears.
When the proceedings resumed, Judge Moshidi asked Dube why he was refusing to attend his hearing. Dube remained seated in the dock, with his head bowed, prompting the judge to order him to stand up. At this point, he calmly stood up, never looking at the judge.
Judge Moshidi asked him three times why he had failed to return to court, but Dube remained defiant and did not respond.
It was explained to him that if he failed to show up for the trial in future, the state would invoke section 159 of the Criminal Procedure Act, which allows the court to proceed with the trial in his absence.
While the judge was still explaining this, the accused calmly shoved a newspaper he was holding inside his half-opened blue tracksuit top. He then took out a cigarette lighter and set the newspaper inside his jacket alight.
A female interpreter shouted and screamed, and three police officers jumped into the dock, put out the flames and subdued Dube.
The judge adjourned the proceedings until police had dealt with the problem. Investigating officer Piet Byleveld ordered that Dube be strip-searched in case he had something else with which he could harm himself.
As police handcuffed him, a screaming and shouting Dube said to Byleveld: "Kill me, kill me. Choke me like you did, choke me."
In anticipation of his attempting suicide, police took his trousers belt and shoelaces.
Still wrestling and screaming, Dube threatened to throw himself down the steps leading to the cells. Three policemen immediately went to man the exit.
Testifying in aggravation of sentence, police forensic psychologist Gerald Labuschagne told the court that Dube was a "serial sexual murderer and paedophile" who could not be rehabilitated.
"Studies prove that child molesters are most difficult to rehabilitate... in this instance, the accused qualifies," said Labuschagne.
He added that the accused's motive in committing the crimes was not primarily material gain. Dube's crime patterns showed that he had elements of being a "power-control murderer".
Also, he had used his intelligence to gain his young victims' trust.
Asked by the court what motivated serial killers to commit these kinds of offences, Labuschagne said there was no definitive answer, but the theory was that most of them did not feel part of society - they were loners, had no friends or girlfriends, or were sexually molested at a young age.
In mitigation of sentence, the defence called Dube's aunt, Sibongile Mkhize, who testified that her nephew had had a normal upbringing, but they had noticed he was troublesome at an early age, and as he got older, his crimes became a lot worse.
Mkhize pinned all the blame on Dube's paternal family, saying "his father failed to perform Imbeleko - a traditional ceremony - for him and this led to his bad behaviour".
"It was a long and difficult trial," said Judge Moshidi.
The court was crowded with families of victims as well as law students from the University of Johannesburg.
In his 45-minute judgement, Judge Moshidi said the accused had carefully planned his crime spree in the areas of Ladysmith, Weenen in KwaZulu Natal and in Johannesburg, between May 2001 and January 2004. "I conclude the State has proven the accused guilty beyond reasonable doubt,".
"It is highly unlikely that all police officers and witnesses will conspire against the accused and falsely implicate him." Describing a number of crimes with the same modus operandi, Judge Moshidi said Dube had twice been present at murder scenes.
"On one occasion, he insisted police should go up a hill and while there, he showed them a bloodied school blazer and books... saying the murdered girl, Nomnikelo Jumba, 14, had been raped there before the killing," he said. "The accused was also present at the murder scene of Lukhanyo Kuwane, 10,... whose body was found badly battered and later confirmed he had a fractured skull and severe brain damage."
Based on this, Judge Moshidi said: "The totality of evidence points towards the guilt of the accused... circumstantial evidence and his presence on the murder scenes clearly points to his involvement in the matters."
On august 23, 2006 at 10am, just before he was to hear his sentence, Dube shuffled into the dock.
He wore a grey and black woollen cap and dark glasses, dark jeans and white Nike takkies as he sat down and covered his head with his hands.
It did not take long for his vicious streak to emerge. A court orderly noticed that he was carrying a bottle of water and went to confiscate it, Dube said: "Why are you taking this? It's just water."
"What do you want from me, captain? I'm just respecting you?" he said, pointing at the policeman's rank epilettes on his uniform.
Then he said: "I hope you get run over by a car and your testicles get smashed," before adding: "Your muti won't work."
Dube was given 10 life sentences.
The Judge sentenced him to an additional 114 years. The sentences run concurrently, giving an effective life sentence, which is a minimum of 25 years.
Dube, was convicted of murdering Rashunthee Singh, 38, in Ladysmith and Lukhanyo Kuwane, 10, Tina Bernardes, 11, Nomnikelo Jumba, 14, Thabo Dlongolo, 14, nine-year-old Anele Mbuku and his cousin Siyabonga Mbuku, 12, in Johannesburg.
He was also convicted of three rapes, 11 kidnappings, six indecent assaults, one assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, one common assault, one robbery and one theft - a total of 31 crimes.
He had originally faced 41 charges.
Dube was taken down to the cells quite quickly after court adjourned, hurling insults as he clanged down the stairs in his leg irons on his way to lock up.
Asanda Jumba, whose younger sister Nomkelo was one of Dube's victims, cried when she heard that her sister's killer was going to jail for life.
"I am happy with the sentence, even though my sister won't come back. She died brutally. I hope he rots in jail," she said.
An unnamed aunt of nine-year-old Tina Bernardes, one of Dube's most well-known murder victims, said: "He got what he deserved, although I think he should have got the death sentence."
Bernardes' immediate family appeared very emotional after the sentence was passed. They hugged one another, repeatedly saying: "It's over now," but declined to speak to the media. They left the court quickly.
A mother of another one of the murdered children, Nandi Kuwane, said she was thrilled with the sentence. "I won't stop crying for my son. I can't forget about him. He was taken away from me and I am so sad," Kuwane said.
The family members of the children Dube killed, previously unknown to each other but brought together in grief, comforted each other outside the courtroom and exchanged phone numbers, promising to call each other soon.
They were all pleased with the sentence, feeling that justice had finally been served.
Re: Sipho Dube
I'm very surprised he made it to his teen years...I wonder if there is a hairy set over there.
Your Mothers Nightmare...
Join Date: Oct 2012
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Re: Sipho Dube
Evil walks amongst us, it cares not what your race, colour or nationality is...
...I'll go with you, then,
Since you must play this game of ghosts...