66-year-old man sentenced to 15 life imprisonments for 15 counts of [email protected]
Cape Town – A 66-year-old man was sentenced to 15 life imprisonment for 15 counts of [email protected] in the Cape High Court on Thursday, police said.
In addition Herman Harker was sentenced to 30 years for four counts of abduction and two counts of s.e.xual assault.
The 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 Harker’s conviction and sentencing.
Harker arrested on June 13, 2018 on charges of abduction and [email protected] in Ladismith.
“The investigating officer’s diligence and hard work supported by the Forensic Service Laboratory’s evidence collected at other crime scenes and from the [email protected] and s.e.xual assault survivors revealed that Harker was wanted on five more cases of [email protected], abduction, and s.e.xual assault,” said police spokesperson Colonel Brenda Muridili.
“All the cases that had been linked to Harker were then transferred to the Detective Services’ Serial and Electronic FCS Investigation ( SECI) which is a specialised section within Family Violence, Child Protection and S.e.xual 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.
Muridili said that the court heard during trial how Harker terrorised his victims, who were spread among six towns – Ladismith, Stellenbosch, Wolseley, Kleinvlei, and Tulbagh between 2017 October and 2018 June.
He had lured his victims, aged between nine and 23, under the pretense 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 [email protected] them repeatedly.
He lured and [email protected] his youngest victims aged nine and 13 while they were still in full school uniform and on their way home. His reign of terror ended when the Ladysmith police arrested him in June 2018, Muridili said.
“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 [email protected], Harker. It is the caliber and dedication of these investigators that bring closure to the survivors of [email protected],” said Mosikili.
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