Herman Harker, 66 — a serial rapist in the Western Cape — has been sentenced to 15 life imprisonments for 15 counts of rape with an additional 30 years for four counts of abduction and two counts of sexual assault.
South African Police Service's Divisional Commissioner of Detectives, Lieutenant General Tebello Mosikili has commended the work done by detectives in Cape Town that resulted in the conviction and sentencing of Harker on Wednesday 20 May at the Cape High Court.
SERIAL RAPIST ARRESTED IN JUNE 2018
Harker, according to a police statement, was arrested on the 13 of June 2018 on charges of abduction and rape and in Ladismith. Evidence collected at other crime scenes and from rape and sexual assault survivors revealed that Harker was wanted for five more cases of rape, abduction and sexual assault.
All the cases that had been linked to the serial rapist were then transferred to the Detective Services' Serial and Electronic FCS Investigation (SECI) which is a specialised section within Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences (FCS).
"Detective Warrant Officer Ernest Villet was tasked with the duty of ensuring that the police sent a watertight case to court as well as preparing witnesses for the trial," said Colonel Brenda Muridili.
RAPE VICTIMS SPREAD ACROSS FIVE TOWNS
The court heard during the trial, how Harker terrorised his victims, who were spread among five towns — Ladismith, Stellenbosch, Wolseley, Kleinvlei and Tulbagh between October 2017 and June 2018.
The serial rapist had lured his victims, aged between nine and 23, under the pretence that he was looking for someone to walk him halfway to his destination or befriend them and give them money and then he would threaten them, at times with a weapon — firearm and a knife — before raping them repeatedly.
Harker lured and raped his youngest victims aged nine and 13-years-old while they were still in full school uniform and on their way home. The serial rapist's reign of terror ended when the Ladismith police arrested him in June 2018.
INVESTIGATING OFFICERS COMMENDED FOR HARD WORK
The divisional commissioner of detectives has commended the investigating officers that conducted thorough initial investigations on the six cases that were subsequently handed over for further investigation.
"The concrete foundation laid by the investigating officers enabled SECI to take forward a watertight evidence-based docket to court and that has ensured this hefty sentence imposed on this serial rapist, Harker. It is the calibre and dedication of these investigators that bring closure to the survivors of rape," said Mosikili.
The South African Police Service urges victims of sexual offences, including rape, to immediately report this crime to the nearest police station or to call the SAPS emergency number 10111.
If you know of any child that is being sexually abused you may call the SAPS Crime Stop number, 08600-10111 or submit a tip-off on MySAPSApp. All information received will be treated with confidentiality.