Woman tells of rape by ANC MP
Andrew Trenchand and Jacques Dommisse, City Press
Cape Town - A woman who has accused a top ANC MP of raping her has broken her silence about her alleged ordeal.
Sikhumbuzo Eric Kholwane, 39, who chairs Parliament’s communications portfolio committee, was arrested shortly before Christmas on charges of rape.
However, news of his arrest emerged only this week following his appearance in court in Cape Town on Tuesday.
This week he will have to meet the ruling party’s chief whip, Mathole Motshekga, in Parliament to explain himself.
The 26-year-old complainant, who may not be named for legal reasons, alleged she was assaulted in December following a row between the couple over their relationship.
Met through Facebook
The two had met last March through social networking site Facebook and she saw him whenever he came to Cape Town. In June last year, she suffered a miscarriage.
He had fathered the child, she claims. She tried to call him but he did not return her calls.
The woman said after the argument and on the night of the alleged rape, she had slept in a car outside his home in the Cape Town neighbourhood of Grassy Park. She had not wanted to go into his house after the fight.
“When I woke up I was inside the house on the couch and he was busy on top of me,” she said, adding that she did not know how she had landed up inside.
“I said: ‘What are you doing?’ He said: ‘You always do this... You want me to take you. I’m going to show you what I am made of!’,” she claimed.
She alleges that she managed to leave the house after “screaming and shouting” and called the police. The woman said she was determined to see the case through.
“He raped me. Why should I drop the charges? He told me I am wasting my time because he is a member of Parliament. (When the police arrested him) he was in the back of the van...(when they realised he was an MP) they took him out of the back and put him in front you know, like a gentleman that (has) been accused of rape,” she alleged.
“That’s when he told me: ‘I told you, you’re wasting your time’,” she claimed.
Kholwane told City Press on Friday he would not comment on specifics of the case but said he was giving his full co-operation to the police.
A blood sample for DNA testing was given to the investigating officer on Wednesday.
Police had apparently struggled to track him down to provide the sample after his earlier court appearance.
Motshekga said he did not know the details of the case, but had asked for a meeting with Kholwane.
“We have a culture that you are not guilty until proven guilty. And I can’t even start talking about what the ANC will do as I don’t have the facts,” he said.
The police’s sexual offences unit in Wynberg, Cape Town, which arrested Kholwane, pulled a veil over their investigation this week.
City Press was told by officials close to the investigation that this was because “Case 460 Grassy Park” involved an MP and was considered highly sensitive.
Kholwane, who hails from Matsulu in Mpumalanga, was arrested on December 20 last year and the next day was released on bail of R500. On Tuesday, the case was postponed until March 15 to give the investigator time to collect a blood sample.
Kholwane, who spoke to City Press from Durban, said he did not want to say much about the case, but was surprised to read details of it in the media. He did not want to comment on claims that the complainant was a girlfriend.
“Since the complaint was lodged, I have not spoken to the complainant. But I do not want to say something that could influence the case,” he said.
Kholwane’s bail conditions stipulate that he may not contact a state witness nor enter the suburb of Mowbray.
He has been an MP since 2004 and previously served on the portfolio committees for public enterprises and safety and security.