Sex worker speaks during trial of man who killed 6 Zim women in SA

Woman denies sex workers extort clients for more cash

By Staff Reporter

A sex worker summoned to testify in the trial of 21-year-old South African serial killer Sifiso Mkhwananzi has denied before a Johannesburg high court judge that fellow women in the world’s oldest trade were in the habit of extorting clients for more payment.

Mkhwananzi is accused of killing six Zimbabwean women he hired for sex from Johannesburg streets.

He is alleged to have committed the heinous crime in his father’s workshop in revenge for a rape accusation that led to his 10-month jail June 2021.

Defence lawyer Vuyo Maqetuka asked the unnamed sex worker to explain to the court how her services work and how she reaches a “short time” and a “whole night” agreement.

The woman told the court she would usually ask for upfront payment while extra services were also paid for before performing the act.

“When I reach the client, we talk about prices. Some clients prefer to negotiate. But first, l have to get my money,” she said.

She said she was not aware of any sex worker who would extort money from a client by threatening to open rape charges after services had been rendered.

She is one of the last people to see Joyce Moyo alive.

Moyo is one of six sex workers whose decomposed bodies were found in a workshop in Johannesburg in October 2022.

During re-examination, prosecutor Leswikane Mashabela asked if she had ever threatened to open rape charges against a client after services had been offered. She said no.

“It all depends on how you handle your problem because we go to different places at different times.

“A customer can take you to his place and will do whatever he wants to do with you, but where we operate a client will never have a disagreement because there are people guarding us,” she said.

Mkhwanazi, accused of killing Moyo and five others, was arrested in October 2022 and charged with six counts of murder, seven of rape, six of defeating or obstructing the administration of justice, robbery with aggravating circumstances and unlawful possession of a firearm and ammunition.

According to the indictment, Mkhwanazi’s reign of terror lasted at least six months from April until his arrest in October 2022. 

“His modus operandi was to lure the deceased person, all of them sex workers, on different days under the pretext he was going to pay them for engaging in sexual intercourse with them. He would rape and strangle them — except for the deceased [Chihota Nyarai] in count 3, who he killed by shooting,” read the indictment. 

Only three of the six bodies were identified. 

The proceedings were adjourned earlier on Tuesday after the prosecutor said he was ill.

The matter is expected to resume on Wednesday.

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