Serial killer sentenced to death in Swaziland

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Sunday, April 3, 2011

Most of the victims were found in the outskirts of Manzini.

A convicted serial killer has been sentenced to death by hanging in the African country of Swaziland; his death will be the first execution in the country since 1983. David Simelane was sentenced to death by a judge nine days after being convicted of the murders of 28 people. Simelane's lawyers said they would appeal the sentence and the verdict.

Simelane's killing spree is believed to have begun in the late 1990s. He was arrested in 2001 after a tip off, after which he led police to the bodies of 45 people in various places in the country. The majority of the bodies were buried in shallow graves in the woods just outside the city of Manzini. Among the dead were several pregnant women.

Several people reacted with joy when the news of the verdict was released. "He is not a person that should be let out into society ever, so it is right that he be hung," women's rights activist Mbali Dlamini said. "Now it is about the families—not David." The bodies of the victims can now be returned to relatives for burial; they had been held as evidence ever since the discovery.