East London Family

Photo: Envato Elements/Joebelanger

Durban Highway Rapist: What we know about Moses Mavila

To understand the fate that awaits Mavila, we have to take a look at how he found himself guilty of 30 rape charges.

East London Family

Photo: Envato Elements/Joebelanger

Moses Mavila — dubbed the Durban Highway Rapist — will have to wait until Friday, 30 August, to find out how many years of his remaining life he will spend behind bars.

Durban Highway Rapist sentencing postponed

The 29-year-old appeared at the Pinetown Regional Court, on Wednesday, for his sentencing, after what has been a highly emotional experience for the victims who, throughout the process, have been brave enough to face the man who has been charged with desecrating their dignity.

The court was forced to postpone proceedings, however, due to the reported illness of Magistrate Bilkish Asmal.

What we know about Moses Mavila

To understand why Mavila will, for the rest of his life, bare the name, Durban Highway Rapist, we need to take a closer look at his past, from the online material that is available to us.

His upbringing

Mavila’s defence attorney, Advocate Judy Reddy, in her statement submission described Mavila as a man who is the product of his painful upbringing.

Although there is not much information available about Mavila, a recent Times Live article on court proceedings shed some light on why the 29-year-old may have turned out to be the monster he is.

According to his defence attorney, Mavila’s life changed after he lost his mother. This loss, Advocate Reddy claimed, is the reason why he has never placed any value in women.

She explained that for as long as he has lived, Mavila has never had a female role model in his life. Therefore, when he committed these heinous crimes, he did not have the conscience of a person who understands the role of a woman in society.

His method of raping victims

It will be interesting to see how this explanation holds weight in Magistrate Asmal’s sentencing. However true or false this may be, it does not explain the premeditation behind his actions.

Mavila became notorious for raping and defiling at least 30 women between 2013 and 2016. The name, Durban Highway Rapist, was coined from the area — the M19 highway — in which he targeted unsuspecting women who were desperate for employment.

Mavila would use this desperation as a way to — in a sick and twisted way — worm his way into gaining trust from his victims. He would lure these women to secluded areas in Westville and New Germany, west of Durban, with the promise of employment.

Once they arrived at his lair, he would spring his sadistic plan into action, raping the women and assaulting them. One of his victims was in her second trimester when he attacked her.

The motivation behind his actions

It is still not exactly clear what the true motivations behind his heinous acts are. For all we know, Mavila was driven by the sadistic need to cater to his sick sexual urges.

Mavila’s defence pleads for leniency

Ahead of sentencing, Advocate Reddy, in her final submission, pleaded with the court to show some leniency towards Mavila. Reddy explained that the fact that Mavila pleaded guilty to all charges was, in some bizarre way, a show of remorse for his actions.

Magistrate Asmal will have to consider this, along with the evidence, to arrive at a fair and just conclusion. However, one thing is for sure, it is unlikely that Mavila will ever set foot outside of jail.