Condoms at rape scene

2014-06-14 06:30


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Johannesburg - Two used condoms were found at the scene where an 18-year-old man allegedly raped a 14-year-old girl, the Nelspruit Regional Court heard on Friday.

"After I was led to the crime scene by the victim on 13 April last year, we found red panties and as we walked further, we found two used condoms and shoes," Mpumalanga police officer Constable Thuli Zitha, of the Barberton police station, said.

The accused, Johnson Hlabathi Mkhonto, was arrested last year April after the girl reported being raped, a Sapa correspondent reported.

Mkhonto has pleaded not guilty to the charge.

"The victim said a condom was used when the accused raped her. She said the panties and shoes belonged to her," Zitha testified.

"I took the items as evidence and placed them inside a lockable safe at the police station. I later placed them inside a forensic bag and gave them to Sergeant Nkentshane to take them to the forensic laboratory for testing."

Another witness, who may not be named to protect the victim's identity, testified that when the girl arrived at her place around 18:00 that day, her clothes were dirty.

"When I asked what had happened, she started crying. She then said her friend's boyfriend raped her after being encouraged by his girlfriend."

Mkhonto's lawyer Henry Mabaso said they would not dispute the DNA results.

"We do not dispute the DNA and we intend not to call any witnesses from the forensic laboratory. My instruction is that my client intends to call five witnesses for his defence," Mabaso said.

Magistrate Willie Wilkins postponed the case to 24 June. Mkhonto was previously released into parental custody.

Meanwhile, in another case in the same court, Harris Ngomane, of Masoi near Hazyview, was sentenced to 17 years' imprisonment for raping two women and robbing them of their cellphones.

Ngomane pleaded guilty to raping and robbing the two women, aged 17 and 20, last year.

Wilkins said the court accepted his plea and found him guilty as charged. He sentenced Ngomane to 10 years for the robbery and 17 years for the two counts of rape. The sentences would run concurrently.

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