The heinous crime of serial rape of powerless women took a fatal twist today, in the wake of multiple bloody rape cases linked to a man who is reported to attack his victims on major roads before forcefully having canal knowledge of them.
The case against a 47-year-old Galeshewe-born man, who is facing 34 rape charges committed in various towns in both the Northern Cape and the North West over a period of four years, continued in the Northern Cape High Court on Tuesday.
Christiaan Cornelius Julies is also facing an additional charge of sexual assault and one of attempted rape.
Earlier testimony given by the complainants in the Northern Cape High Court was held in camera.
It is alleged that the rapes took place in Galeshewe, Ritchie, Oliphantshoek, Upington, Kathu, Kuruman, Postmasburg, and Mafikeng from August 2011 until his arrest on February 22 2015.
The case continued on Tuesday, with the State closing its case.
Julies, who pleaded not guilty, claimed that each of the incidents was consensual, pointing out that he had been in a relationship with each of the complainants. He accused them of fabricating the charges, stating that they had their “own personal reasons” for accusing him of rape.
The ages of the complainants ranged from 13 years to 30 years, with three of them minors at the time.
Appearing very calm and in control in the dock on Tuesday, Julies stated that he was a soldier in the parachute battalion and also worked at Fidelity Guards, as well as sold furniture.
Able to speak six languages, Julies stated throughout Tuesday’s cross-examination that he was a gentleman.
He indicated that he knew each of the complainants, as well as where they lived and their family members, and could, according to him, describe and remember every one of the incidents.
Although the complainants testified a similar sequence of events, Julies in his defence explained that the women had probably heard about the incidents in the media.
The victims each described a similar modus operandi, explaining how they were grabbed by Julies, wielding a knife, who took them to a secluded area, lay down his shirt and raped them, before dusting them off and walking them home afterwards.
Julies, however, denied that he had ever threatened the women with a knife and said he was in a loving relationship with each of them and had, in some instances, even bought liquor for the women.
Advocate Ronewa Makhaga, representing the State, pointed out that it was strange that the complainants had all laid charges against Julies if it was true, as he stated, that they were in a loving relationship with him. He stated that they had also all claimed that they did not know Julies.
All the complainants, with the exception of two, also stated that the incidents had occurred in the veld.
Julies responded that if two people consented, they could have intercourse anywhere, including in the veld.
According to the State, in the incidents involving the underage girls, Julies had apparently asked the complainants to assist him in carrying out various tasks. In one instance, for example, he asked the child to take money to his girlfriend. Along the way, he allegedly raped her in the veld.
In the instance involving the 13-year-old child, he allegedly asked her to show him a house in the area and then took her to a secluded area in the veld.
According to testimony presented in court, Julies claimed he was in a relationship with the child but could see that she was a virgin. He stated that she had attempted to initiate intercourse with him and was angry when he turned her down. He added that this could be the reason why she had opened a case against him.
He disputed that the two other underage girls were also virgins after the presiding officer, Judge President Frans Kgomo, questioned why he had intercourse with the other two minors.
According to Makhaga, there was also a period in June 2012 where Julies had allegedly tormented residents in Vergenoeg in Kimberley.
He cited several incidents between June 10 and 18, where Julies apparently targeted women walking home from a tavern.
During this week, there were also incidents reported.
In response to evidence by the complainants who all stated that their attacker was carrying a knife, Julies said that it was a known fact that many people in the Northern Cape used a knife to protect themselves. He added, however, that he did not have a knife, pointing out that even when the police searched him, they did not find a knife.