LIMPOPO – Alleged serial killer Prince Willard Themba Dube told the Limpopo High Court that the contents of his two confession statements were “a mixture of lies and the truth”.
The statements – one taken down by a magistrate and another by a senior police officer after the pointing out of crime scenes – were a week ago ruled by Judge Gerrit Muller as admissible after a trial-within-a-trial.
It contains gory details of how the accused, working together with a Nigerian national whom he identified as “David Abu”, allegedly kidnapped seven women and later strangled them to death in 2021.
Under cross-examination by the State, Dube said some parts of the statements were concocted by him and the investigating officer, a Warrant Officer Seroka, to stop him from being assaulted after his arrest.
He said Seroka took him, without his consent, to seven different locations unknown to him, where some of the bodies of the murdered women were found. He said Seroka forced him to make the confessions.
However, Dube had difficulty in explaining how he – two days later – voluntarily took a senior police officer to the same locations without him getting lost. Photographs were taken at the scenes.
He also had difficulty in explaining why he was not disputing some parts of the confession statements as to how he grew up in Zimbabwe until he came to South Africa in 2008, after bribing soldiers and police officers, among others.
The cross-examination focused on items that belonged to some of the victims, which were found in his rented room in Seshego township.
Answering a question from the judge, he described the case as a “conspiracy” to connect him to the crimes.
Dube was first arrested with a cellphone that was positively linked to one of the victims. He said he bought the cellphone from someone the day he was arrested.
“My mistake was to be arrested with that cellphone. That’s when the police thought they can pile the case on me…”
Dube added: “I believe so because some of the police were given promotions [after my arrest]… How do you explain that some were working at smaller police stations, but now they are at provincial offices?”
He maintained that the items belonging to some of the victims were planted in his rented room.
Dube, a Zimbabwean national, is facing seven charges of murder, several of kidnapping, rape, robbery, extortion and contravention of the Immigration Act.
He allegedly lured the women with the promise of jobs.
Their bodies were discovered at different locations around Polokwane between August and October 2021.