The victim managed to drag herself to her garden gate, where she was found by a neighbour.
Later that night, Mziza was found hitchhiking on the side of the road by police. They became suspicious when they saw the blood on his shoes and arrested him. Upon his arrest, Mziza told the officers that he was feeling unwell. He was taken to the Dr George Mukhari hospital without handcuffs or shackles. He escaped from his hospital room, which was under police guard, two days later. The two policemen charged with guarding Mziza were arrested the same day and released with a warning. They were found not guilty of defeating the ends of justice and aiding the escape.
Mziza was arrested again a week later when he was found breaking into a house.
Mziza initially maintained his innocence, but he pleaded guilty to charges of burglary, rape, attempted murder and escape.
According to evidence heard in court during the trial, Mziza first hacked the victim with his machete and stabbed her. The pre-sentence psychiatric report says that he decided to rape her after seeing the suffering she was experiencing. Mziza allegedly wrapped a plastic bag around his genitals as “contraception” and raped the victim as she was drifting in and out of consciousness.
Prosecutor Sanet Jacobs described the brutality of the attack in her closing statement, saying that the blade of the knife used to stab the victim in the forehead had broken off and had to be surgically removed.
Jacobs called for the strongest possible sentence, asking “What sort of savage would get satisfaction from having sex with a dying person?”
“I wish today I could ask for the death penalty, because it would have been appropriate,” Jacobs said.
Mziza has been wanted by police since 2001 on charges of rape and attempted murder.
He was allegedly under the influence of drugs on the night of the attack.