Find Rhodes Park accused guilty - State

2016-12-13 20:24
The Rhodes Park accused in court. (Iavan Pijoos, News24)

The Rhodes Park accused in court. (Iavan Pijoos, News24)

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Johannesburg - The three men accused of attacking two couples in Rhodes Park, Kensington, last year should all be found guilty of murder and rape, the High Court sitting in Palm Ridge heard on Tuesday morning.

During closing statements, prosecutor Monde Mbaqa told the court it was the trio's clear intention to rape and kill because they said: “Blood must be spilled here”.

Admore Ndlovu, 23, Thabo Nkala, 25, and Mduduzi Mathibela Lawrence, 32, are on trial on charges of robbery with aggravating circumstances, rape and murder.

They pleaded not guilty.

They were allegedly part of a 12-man gang that attacked two couples walking in the park in Kensington, on the evening of Saturday, October 17, 2015.

They allegedly forced the women's husbands, Zukisa Khela and Sizwe Tyeke, to strip before forcing them into the lake, where they drowned.

Earlier Nkala and Ndlovu claimed Lawrence and a man called Cosmo stayed behind and committed the rapes.

Severe trauma

However, Mbaqa argued that the women told the court that more than one man had inserted fingers into their vaginas.

He submitted that all three should be convicted of the rapes.

He said the two women, who survived the attack, were eyewitnesses of the crime. They saw how their husbands drowned.

“The two men were put into a dam and left there to drown. The court should convict all three as charged.”

Mbaqa argued that the women had suffered severe trauma. It was evident from their testimony that it had been a traumatic experience. He said they were very honest witnesses.

Mbaqa said it was apparent to a doctor who assessed them that the women were traumatised. During their examination the women had repeatedly asked the doctor what had happened to their husbands.

“A witness told the court that the women were always in tears and their main concern was their husbands.”

Quality of CCTV footage questioned

Mbaqa argued that the CCTV footage police officers used to identify the suspects played a crucial role in the case. It revealed that the street the men used to leave the scene led to the nearby suburb of Yeoville.

Defence attorney Robert Xaba argued that the CCTV footage was of poor quality and made it impossible to identify anyone.

Judge Papi Masopa dismissed these claims.

He said when accused one, Nkala, was arrested and shown the CCTV footage, he was able to identify all of the men. Accused two, Ndlovu, showed police where they lived.

Nkala, who was identified by his street name Rasta, cut his dreadlocks after his arrest.

“I found cutting his dreadlocks very interesting, because it could have been a tactic. He was aware that many people knew him as 'Rasta',” Mbaqa said.  

Judgment expected in March

During his testimony, Lawrence said his DNA had been fabricated. Mbaqa said there was no foul play involved.

Masopa said DNA could only be excluded when the defence had called its own expert.

During their testimony, Nkala and Ndlovu had claimed they did not know each other. Lawrence called them by their names during his testimony.   

Lawrence claimed that the highest office of the police posted a R100 000 reward for his arrest.

Xaba argued that his client, Ndlovu, was not involved in the murders and rapes.

“You can't say that they dissociated themselves, because they were there,” Masopa said.

Masopa said he would hand down judgment on March 27.

Read more on:    johannesburg  |  crime  |  rape  |  rhodes park

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