‘Rapist’s knife threatmade me freeze up’

2009-05-28 00:00

THE second victim of a rapist who allegedly preyed on four women in Pietermaritzburg in January and February last year testified yesterday that her mind had been frozen with fear and she was too afraid to scream or run away when he threatened her with a knife in the centre of town and forced her to accompany him.

The victim, aged 23, identified her attacker as 27-year-old Mlungisi Mluleki Msimanga of Ntabamhlophe near Estcourt.

Msimanga is standing trial before Acting Judge Ben van Heerden and two assessors on 11 charges of rape, robbery with aggravating circumstances and kidnapping.

Msimanga has pleaded not guilty to all the counts.

The young woman said she was walking in Church Street, carrying two bags containing clothing and personal items, at about 2 pm on February 15 last year when Msimanga approached her. She had never seen him before in her life, she said. He pulled out a knife and threatened her. He took one of her bags and told her that if she screamed or did anything to attract attention he would kill her. “I became fear-stricken … I wanted to scream, but I was scared,” she said.

Asked why she did not run away when the man put his knife back into his pocket, she said she did not know how dangerous he was or if he would kill her in the presence of other people.

“I had never been robbed before,” she said. They walked to an area with long grass not far from the Liberty Midlands Mall. There he tripped her and she fell down. “After that he struck me with his fists in my face … maybe six or seven times.”

He ordered her to lie down and remove her clothing. He then emptied the contents of her bags on the floor and took her bank card from her wallet and her cellphone. He hit her again with a clenched fist and demanded the PIN number for her phone. Afterwards he raped her.

The woman said that when he left Msimanga told her not to get up until he whistled.

She did not move for about 15 minutes and then her “mind started working again”. She got up and contacted the police.

The woman pointed Msimanga out at a police identity parade earlier this week. Under cross-examination by advocate J. Jordaan , she dismissed as lies Msimanga’s claim that she knew him before the incident and had consented to have sex with him at Hlalanathi Lodge in Pietermaritzburg.

ingrido@witness.co.za

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