Prison warder rape trial continues

2011-06-24 14:31

One of the men who allegedly raped a female prison guard had free will and could not accuse the court of “forcing” him to change his version, a North Gauteng High Court Judge said in Pretoria today.

Judge Bert Bam made the remark during legal argument by counsel for former Baviaanspoort prisoner Johannes Modise Monama (23).

Monama and his friend Marebele Edward Sebetsho (28) have pleaded not guilty to charges of breaking into a female prison warder’s house in the Baviaanspoort prison complex, raping her and robbing her of jewellery, cash, her cellphone and a camera.

Monama, who was linked to scene of the alleged crime through DNA, during the start of the trial claimed his alleged victim had consented to sex, but during a trial within a trial testified that he had never touched the woman.

He unsuccessfully applied for the trial to start afresh after his previous legal representative died, claiming he had trouble following procedures and that his late attorney had carried out his instructions incorrectly.

His new counsel, Jacob Malende, argued that the court had “forced” Monama to fall back on his original version by turning down his application.

Bam said Monama had free will and it was “ridiculous” to argue that he was “forced” to fall back on one defence when another did not suit him.

Monama in his evidence claimed he and his alleged victim had a relationship and that she had invited him into her bedroom for sex.

He claimed she had asked him to tie her up so that she could commit insurance fraud and her ex-husband would see there had been people in the house.

The tiny woman testified that Monama had threatened to kill her and her daughter and had violently raped, throttled and tied her up while her hysterical four-year-old daughter had to look on.

She said Sebetsho had also raped her after Monama called him.

The court heard evidence that the two accused were wearing the woman’s jewellery when they were caught hours after the incident.

Monama’s counsel argued that it was reasonably possibly true that the woman had a relationship with his client because “she was lonely and lived alone”.

He argued that the throttle marks on her throat were not evidence of rape, but could have formed part of the consensual sex act – another argument dismissed as “ridiculous” by the judge.

Judge Bam remarked that it was highly unlikely that the woman would have invited Monama in for sex while she was getting ready for work and waiting for her ex-husband to come and pick up her daughter.

Seja Rakubela, appearing for Sebetsho, argued that his client had been “exonerated” because there was no DNA evidence to link him to the alleged crime.

He argued that the State had also not proved that Sebetsho was wearing the complainant’s jewellery, as the State had failed to call all of the witnesses to link the chain of evidence about the jewellery.

Prosecutor Salomé Scheepers argued that both accused should be convicted as charged.

She said the evidence of the warder was irrefutable that both accused had raped her.

She argued that Monama’s evidence was so fraught with improbabilities that it could be rejected outright.

Scheepers argued that Sebetsho was at the scene and had not presented any evidence to refute the warder’s evidence that he had raped her as well.

Judge Bam will give judgment in the trial on Monday.

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