A MAN who preyed on young women and school girls in Mariental was this morning convicted on a count of murder and rape, while he was found not guilty on the remaining two rape charges he was also facing.
Hendrik Swarts,32, killed Estonovia Games,16, at a cemetery in Mariental three years ago. Games was on her way home when Swarts ambushed her and strangled her with an unknown object.
The court, however, found that Games was not raped before she was murdered, and Swarts was therefore found not guilty on the rape charge.
“In the absence of any corroborative evidence, the accused is entitled to the benefit of a doubt and he is accordingly acquitted on that charge,” Judge Dina Usiku ruled.
Swarts also faced another rape charge from 2016 involving a 12-year-old girl.
The minor was allegedly walking home alone in the Ombili location at Mariental when Swarts emerged out of nowhere, attacked her, tied her hair band around her neck and raped her.
This, the court found, was done with the intention to kill the complainant after the rape, however, a passerby managed to rescue the victim before she was killed.
She was found unconscious.
Another 19-year-old victim suffered a deep cut in her face and testified that she now suffers from severe headaches which started about three months after her ordeal.
The accused reportedly dragged her by her braids towards his house, where he allegedly proceeded to rape her.
For that incident, however, Judge Usiku said that there was no proof that a sexual act happened between the victim and the suspect.
“The only reasonable inference is that the accused assaulted the victim and stuffed the t-shirt in her mouth in an attempt to kill her. It must be noted that all the victims were in one way or another throttled or strangled manually or with objects,” the judge said.
The judge found Swarts guilty of murder, as well as guilty on two attempted murder charges , one rape charge, crimen injuria and assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm.
Defence Attorney Gert Appolus is representing Swarts and Marthino Olivier is standing in for the state.