Witness tells of her last encounter with one of Mkhwanazi’s victims

The trial of Sifiso Mkhwanazi will continue on Tuesday at the Johannesburg high court, sitting in Palm Ridge.
The trial of Sifiso Mkhwanazi will continue on Tuesday at the Johannesburg high court, sitting in Palm Ridge.
Image: Phathu Luvhengo/TimesLIVE

One of the sex workers who was with Joyce Moyo when she was picked up in downtown Johannesburg by a client, on Monday testified in the Johannesburg high court.

The witness said the man was driving a spotted a small van with a canopy. 

That was the last time that the witness, who the court ordered not be named, saw Moyo alive.

Moyo’s friend told the court that she saw the car which Moyo had left in, at the workshop on the day the bodies were discovered. 

She described how the driver of the car arrived at the street around 7pm on Sunday 2 October 2022. 

She is the third state witness to testify in the trial of Sifiso Mkhwanazi, 21, accused of raping and killing six sex workers in Johannesburg and hiding their bodies in different locations at his father’s workshop.

“The person who was inside the vehicle called me over.” She told the court that she approached the vehicle and a male driver who was alone inside the car didn’t say a word but pointed at Moyo.

At that time Moyo was behind her as she was busy changing her clothes. “I then said Joyce[Moyo] you are being called.”

She said Joyce approached the car and subsequently left and went back to where she was standing on the side of the street.

She said Joyce and the driver had a conversation, while she and the other two women who were with them watched from the side of the street.

The driver then drove to the intersection, Moyo went back to the side of the street, took her bag, went to the car at the intersection and they drove off.

The witness said that was the last time she saw her friend on the street.

She added that sometime during the week one of their friends, who is also their colleague, called her and told her that Moyo had disappeared and asked if she was with her and asked which type of vehicle she left in.

“I described the vehicle and the conversation ended there,” she said.

It was on Sunday October 9, that the group of other women who operate under the bridge heard of the discovery of the six bodies at a yard in a workshop.

She then decided to join others and went to the workshop to see what had transpired.

When she arrived there, the area was cordoned off. At this time, Moyo’s younger sister Grace Moyo who was inside the premises spotted her and called her.

The witness further stated that Grace went outside, fetched her and pointed her to the police and indicated that she was the person who was with Joyce on the day she disappeared.

She said after the police had taken her statement, she went to the entrance of the workshop and pointed to the car.

“There were a lot of cars and I pointed at the car that took Joyce. It looked the same,” She said.

She added she wouldn’t be able to point out the person who took Moyo on the day as it was dark but could be able to describe his profile.

She told the court that usually the prices are negotiated before the services are rendered depending on the kind of services that the clients require.

She added that the sex worker would not leave with a client before negotiating the prices.

She said, should the client require more services after they had agreed on the initial price, she would first require payment before offering the services.

She disputed Mkhwanazi’s version in his admission to the court that the problem with sex workers arose when he had to make payment and he would allegedly fight with the women and end up killing them.

“I disagree with what the accused is saying. Not all of them can fight against him. It is highly impossible for six of them to change the prices,” she said.

The sex worker is expected to continue with her testimony during a cross-examination when the trial continues on Tuesday.

Earlier, Mkhwanazi’s father, Mark Khumalo, told the court during the cross-examination that the safe kept at the workshop was always locked and he kept the key with him.

This was after the defence asked Khumalo about access to his safe as Mkhwanazi allegedly admitted that he used his father’s gun to kill one of the women.

The state alleges that one of the victims, Chihota Nyarai, was shot once by Mkhwanazi on the left side of her head from 1-2 metres away.

Khumalo said his safe was always locked and always kept the keys with him all the time and separate from the keys of the workshop, as he had kept some valuable items in the safe as well.

“As far as I know my gun was in the safe. When I found out one of the victims was shot, it was discussed with the police that there was only one gun which was mine but there were two. Police took them for ballistics,” he said.

When the defence told him that Mkhwanazi found the keys in a drawer in his office, Khumalo disputed this, insisting the key was always with him. 

Moyo’s body was the first body to be discovered in one of the offices inside the workshop which led to the discovery of the other bodies in different locations within the yard.

Mkhwanazi was arrested last October, charged with six counts of murder, seven of rape, six of defeating or obstructing the administration of justice, robbery with aggravating circumstances and unlawful possession of a firearm and ammunition.



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