Benjamin Jiba case in Fatal Seduction explained

Netflix’s sensuous crime thriller, Fatal Seduction follows morally gray characters and their outrageous deeds which all seem to tie back to Benjamin Jiba, the man convicted in a child rape and murder case ten years ago.

There is lust, there is deceit, and there are twists, a whole lot of them. These three elements inform much of the narrative in Netflix’s Fatal Seduction.

The story begins when Nandi Mahlati, a criminal psychology professor and wife of Justice Leonard Mahlati, has a one-night stand with a young guy named Jacob after believing her husband is cheating on her.

One night passion evolves into a series of submission to lust, as Nandi also comes to learn that her best friend Brenda died the same day as her one-night stand.

So begins the unraveling of a web of murder and mystery as Jacob is revealed to be the vengeful son of Benjamin Jiba, the man who killed himself in front of his son and wife after he was charged with a heinous crime he insisted he didn’t commit.

Slowly, the case long closed resurfaces to haunt the lives of all those involved with it, including the late Brenda, Nandi, her husband Leonard, and her daughter Zinhle, among many more.

Ten years ago

Leonard Mahlati was a great prosecutor and on track for the success path he had always aspired and dreamt of. A case involving the rape and murder of Minister Vilakazi’s little daughter.

Brenda Grootboom, best friend of Nandi Mahlati, was a witness and even though her first statement cleared Jiba, she was influenced by Leonard to change her statement and help put Jiba in jail for the rape and murder.

Leonard repeatedly reassured her that she was doing the right thing by putting the pedophile in jail.

Brenda had her reservations since she didn’t actually see Jiba with Busi, the child, on the day she disappeared. She was the only witness and her initial statement didn’t mention the mechanic being there with her the day she disappeared.

However, Leonard convinces her that it was indeed Benjamin Jiba and that he must pay the price for the heinous crime he’s committed. So she makes a concrete second statement which ends up putting Jiba in prison, where his wife Lucinda and so Jacob visit him.

The aftermath of the case

Jiba tries to impress upon them the fact that he’s innocent, but the stacked evidence against him makes even his son and wife hesitate to believe him. This breaks Jiba as he snatches the prison guard’s gun and shoots himself in the head.

Fatal Seduction Jiba
Image source: Netflix

This traumatic incident affects his wife Lucinda so much she drives herself insane, while his son decides to take revenge for all his loss.

As he grows up, he enrolls in the same university where Nandi teaches but only presents himself to her as her student after having slept with her the day Brenda died. His revenge involves destroying Leonard and his family, as she sleeps with his wife and later, his daughter as well.

Why Leonard framed Benjamin Jiba?

Leonard Mahlati knew that Benjamin Jiba was innocent. He was aware that the evidence against him is only circumstantial and nowhere enough to convict him of the crime.

He admits as much but the minister whose daughter was raped and killed insisted on Jiba being the culprit. He also sent his femme fatale mistress named Precious to properly impress upon Leonard the gravity of the situation.

Leonard was given a choice — either get Jiba framed and sent to prison for the heinous crimes he didn’t commit, or lose his own family. The grave threat compelled Leonard to choose his family over Jiba’s, and he got on working.

Along with Charlie Chace, the lead detective on the case, he worked to change Brenda’s statement, even using her feelings for him as an advantage, getting into an affair with her for ten years before ultimately ditching her, as she fell into depression after Benjamin Jiba’s death.

Leonard then also got his brother Vuyo, another detective working the same case at that time, and one who believed Jiba to be innocent, shot in the leg by Charlie. This injury made Vuyo drop the case as he was out of the force and later became a private detective.


Also Read: Fatal Seduction volume 2 summary and ending explained

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