It’s that time of the year when people begin digging on the internet for some creepy reading material and rewatching chilling horror films, such as Friday The 13th or The Last House On The Left.
What many might forget is that South Africa too has a long, bloody history of terrifying serial killers that is all too real. Here is a list of the country’s most infamous serial murderers:
Moses Sithole, A.K.A the ABC Killer
Sithole is infamous for murdering people in Atteridgeville, Boksburg and Cleveland, and this earned him his moniker, the ABC Killer. He was known for strangling women with their own underwear, and would scrawl the word ‘bitch’ onto their lifeless corpses.
He would even go as far staging job interviews to snare victims.
Sithole is currently incarcerated at the Manguang Correctional Centre in Bloemfontein, Free State. His sentence is 2 410 years long, as all his convictions are running consecutively.
He committed 38 murders, 40 rapes and six robberies, all taking place between 1994 and 1995.
Cedric Maake, A.K.A the Wemmer Pan Killer
Maake was one of the country’s most elusive serial killers, as he constantly changed his modus operandus. In some cases, he shot couples to death in their own cars, and in others, he bludgeoned his victims to death with rocks.
His was finally arrested in the December of 1997 in Gauteng and was convicted of 27 murders, 26 attempted murders, 14 rapes and 41 aggravated robberies. Maake is currently serving out a 1 340-year-long prison term.
His reign of terror spanned just under a year.
Norman Afzal Simons, A.K.A the Station Strangler
Simons, from Mitchell’s Plain, worked as a school teacher, and was accused of sexually abusing and murdering over twenty boys between the ages of nine and thirteen-years-old, many of whom were children from the community or surrounds. He lured most of his victims from train stations, which inspired his nickname, the Station Strangler. He claims that he was a victim of sexual abuse, and that he heard the incessant voice of his step brother in his head, which compelled him to commit his heinous crimes. He was only found guilty for one of the murders.
Simons is currently serving a 35-year-sentence – 25 years for murder and a further 10 for kidnapping. Many criticised this punishment for being too lenient.
His murders began sporadically in 1986, and ended in 1994.
Sipho Thwala, A.K.A the Phoenix Strangler
Thwala promised women in the Mount Edgecomb area of KwaZulu-Natal employment opportunities before luring them into sugarcane fields. Here he would bind, strangle and bludgeon them to death.
His murders began gaining attention because he was very public about erasing evidence – he would set alight the sugarcane field he had just murdered his victim in to destroy all traces of the crime.
He was charged with 19 counts of murder and 16 counts of rapes, all taking place place between 1996 and 1997.
On March 31, 1999, the High Court in Durban found Thwala guilty and sentenced him to serve 506 years in Pretoria’s C-Max penitentiary.
Jimmy Maketta, A.K.A the Jesus Killer
Maketta was known for killing farm labourers on a hillside in Philippi, located in the Western Cape, in the same fashion as Jesus died.
His murders took place between April and December in 2005 wherein he committed 16 murders and 19 rapes.
A state psychiatrist called him a psychopath during his trial, and he was handed down multiple life sentences by the Western Cape High Court.