JOHANNESBURG — Officials say a man accused of committing 36 rapes died in prison of an alleged suicide while awaiting trial.
Prosecuting authority spokeswoman Phindi Louw said Tuesday that Sifiso Makhubo hanged himself Thursday morning using a prison blanket, before he was to stand trial for attempted murder, rape, robbery and kidnapping.
Louw says Makhubo was charged with raping 36 victims between 2006 and 2011. Thirty-four of his victims were minors, some as young as 9.
Makhubo, who was HIV positive, was accused of attempted murder for intentionally infecting victims with the disease, Louw says. Seven of his victims have tested positive for the HIV virus.
The 42-year-old was arrested in 2011 after one of his victims followed him to his residence before reporting the rape.