Woman: Rapists argued over me

2010-04-13 00:00

A 25-YEAR-OLD Pietermaritzburg woman yesterday described her ordeal last year at the hands of three men, who raped her multiple times at knifepoint while fighting over who should be next.

The woman testified in-camera before Judge Leona Theron and two assessors.

She identified the three accused — Sibusiso Innocent Gwala (30), Lindokuhle Mlaba (18) and Siyabonga Sibisi (19) — all from Imbali, as her rapists.

The accused all pleaded not guilty to robbery with aggravating circumstances and multiple counts of rape. Mlaba claimed in a statement that he had sex by consent with the wo­man that night, which she denied.

The victim said she and her boyfriend went for a walk on the night of May 2 last year and stopped to buy refreshments at McDonalds. As they walked back home at about 10 pm, she saw a group of seven men approaching them at the intersection of Boshoff and Burger streets.

Upon reaching the couple, most of the men produced knives. The woman said she and her boyfriend were “chased” in different directions.

Two of the assailants robbed her of a cellphone, R100 cash and cosmetics to the value of about R50, which she was carrying, before they took chase in the direction her boyfriend was running.

She said three of the gang remained behind, grabbed her and pulled her under a tree. She identified them as the three accused.

She said Sibisi touched her all over her body while searching her, saying that females “keep things hidden all over their bodies”. As he did this, he inserted his fingers into her vagina.

The woman said Sibisi then produced a knife, placed it against her back and forced her to walk in front of him. The others walked ahead.

“They told me if I scream they will stab me,” she said.

As they walked, the trio talked about what they should do with her.

When they got to a dark secluded place she was pushed to the ground and Sibisi started to rape her.

The woman said that while he was busy, Mlaba kept a lookout for vehicles and Gwala stood near her head with a knife pointing at her.

Gwala started to argue with Sibisi for “taking too long” and referred to another rape when Sibisi “did the same thing and took too much time”, she said.

Gwala then pulled Sibisi off her and he raped her, followed by Mlaba. While one was busy raping her, the others jostled each other to force her to have oral sex with them.

The woman said each of the accused raped her twice without a condom.

The victim said after she complained she was thirsty they forced her to accompany them further, saying they would take her to a tavern.

En route Sibisi, who still had the knife to her back, told her to take a different road from the others, indicating that he wanted to have sexual intercourse again.

However, the others saw them and followed.

When they had crossed the Msunduzi River, all three accused said they were “not satisfied” and wanted to have sex again. They then began to argue about who should go first, she said.

The victim said at that point they spotted a police van approaching.

Sibisi warned her not to scream or she would be shot, she said.

She was rescued by the police, who were in the company of her boyfriend, and all three accused were arrested.

The woman testified that she was extremely traumatised and underwent psychological counselling in hospital. She also suffered a medical ailment as a result of the rapes.

The case is proceeding.

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