Victim tells of rape ordeal

2013-07-19 00:00

ANOTHER alleged victim of Sibusiso “Lazarus” Gcabashe told the Pietermaritzburg Regional Court yesterday that she had been left spiritually and emotionally abused after being raped by him.

The 18-year-old woman from Ixopo alleged that Gcabashe raped her several times before disappearing and resurfacing claiming to be the late Maskandi artist Kwakhe Khulekani Khumalo, also known as Mgqumeni.

The woman, who cannot be named, told the court that Gcabashe was her sister’s boyfriend at the time.

She said in November 2011 he asked her to accompany him to fetch his cellphone in their neighbourhood in Ixopo. She said while they were on their way, his phone rang.

“I asked which phone we were going to fetch but he did not answer me,” she said.

The woman said she was taken to the bushes where Gcabashe slapped her in her face and raped her. “He placed his knee on my chest. I couldn’t move. He lowered his pants and my panties and raped me as I was crying.”

She identified Gcabashe as the man that held her down while she was scared and crying. The next day, she said, he told her she should keep the rape to herself or he would kill her.

They then went to another village in Nokweja, in Ixopo, where they met two women and he asked to be directed to the house of a Shembe church follower.

They were shown the house of a woman who lived alone.

The victim said they went to that house and Gcabashe introduced himself and told them that she was his wife. He told the owner of the house that they were victims of a robbery and that they wanted a place to sleep.

They were given an outside room. While in the room, she said he raped her several times during the four nights they spent there.

She said she was crying all the time, afraid he was going to kill her, and that they were given money for transport by the owner of the house and neighbours.

They left the house and got a lift in a car that drove them for a while, after which they hitchhiked, she said.

She said she was crying at this time, not knowing what was going to happen to her.

They went to another house where he repeated the same story that they had been robbed, she said. At this house they were also offered a place to sleep and food.

Again, over the two nights that they spent there, she said he raped her several times.

She said her chance to ask for help came when Gcabashe told her he was going to see a Sangoma in the area.

“When I finished (bathing), I went to the room where we were sleeping and I was shocked to see his clothing and bag were not there and I cried.”

The woman then told her story to the owner of the house when he returned from work.

He phoned her family to fetch her.

She returned home, and on February 5, 2012 she was shocked to see Gcabashe in the newspapers impersonating Mgqumeni. She then opened a case with police.

Gcabashe has been charged with three counts of theft, allegedly committed in Durban; kidnapping, assault and rape, allegedly committed at Ixopo; fraud, impersonating and attempted escape from custody at Nquthu.

Gcabashe’s lawyer, John Botha, will be cross-examining the witness today.

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