Rhodes Park survivor still tormented by voices of attackers

2017-03-28 18:57
The two women who survived the attack in Rhodes Park in 2015 being comforted by family and friends after the three men were found guilty. (Iavan Pijoos, News24)

The two women who survived the attack in Rhodes Park in 2015 being comforted by family and friends after the three men were found guilty. (Iavan Pijoos, News24)

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Johannesburg – One of the two women raped in Rhodes Park, where her husband was murdered, says she still hears the voices of her attackers.

"I don't sleep properly at night, because I keep hearing voices of the people who attacked us, in my head," she said outside the High Court in Johannesburg, after her three attackers were found guilty of rape and murder.

"I want them to rot in jail. My life has never been the same and I'm constantly being admitted to hospital."

She is one of two women who was raped in Rhodes Park, Johannesburg, in 2015. Her husband and that of her companion were forced into the lake, where they drowned.

The two women, who may not be named, broke down in tears as the attackers were found guilty.

Judge Papi Masopa found Thabo Nkala, 24, Admore Ndlovu,25, and Mduduzi Mathibela Lawrence, 31, guilty of robbery, two counts of rape, and two counts of murder.

They showed no emotion after the verdict was handed down.

The three were part of a 12-man gang who attacked the two couples in the park, in Kensington, on the evening of Saturday, October 17, 2015. They went there for a walk following a church service.

The four were forced to lie on the ground. A knife was used to cut off the underwear of both women before they were raped.

'They were fully aware of what they were doing'

Their husbands, Zukisa Khela and Sizwe Tyeke, were forced to strip and were ordered into the lake, where they drowned. Police divers found their bodies.

Masopa said had it not been for CCTV footage recorded from a nearby house, they would not have been caught. They all knew each other and their confessions placed each of them at the scene of the crime.

"They were fully aware of what they were doing,” Masopa said.

The two women sobbed silently in the public gallery as Masopa described what had happened to them. Their relatives consoled them.

Masopa said the three attackers had thrown the two men into the dam, knowing they were going to drown.

One of the accused had a pair of shoes in his hands when they left the park, a clear indication that they were stolen, because he already had shoes on, he said.

They tried to sell a cellphone, firearm, and wedding ring to shop owner in the nearby suburb of Yeoville.

Nkala and Ndlovu were both born in Zimbabwe and Lawrence in KwaZulu-Natal.

'Blood must be spilled here'

Only Nkala had two previous convictions. His lawyer, Thulasizwe Mpanza, argued that his client had lost his parents at a young age. He had a five-year-old daughter and a girlfriend to provide for and sold DVDs to survive. He asked the court to sentence him to 25 years in jail.

Ndlovu's lawyer, Robert Xaba, told the court his client had two children from two mothers. He worked at a restaurant, where he had earned R900 a month to provide for his family.

Portia Phahlane, for Lawrence, told the court that he had two boys and was a first-time offender. She asked the court, in handing down sentence, to strike a balance between the interests of the accused and the interests of the community.

Masopa said Lawrence was the aggressive one during the attack. "Blood must be spilled here," he said, summarising the evidence.

"Unfortunately yes, your honour," Phahlane replied.

The State was expected to call two witnesses during arguments in aggravation of sentencing on Wednesday.

Read more on:    johannesburg  |  crime

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