Brave magistrate tackles would-be village rapist

2012-08-25 17:15

Driving home after a long day on the bench, Eastern Cape magistrate and acting judge Mziwonke Hinxa noticed a shirtless man standing at the side of the road.

Hinxa was driving along a dirt road in Mahasana village, near Willowvale and thought the semi-naked man was drunk.
Then Hinxa noticed “a pair of legs flailing on the ground”. Instinct kicked in.

He screeched the car to a halt, reversed and stopped so that his car’s lights were shining directly onto what turned out to be the scene of an attempted rape.

The half-naked man had attacked a 65-year-old woman. Hinxa raced towards them.

“I reached him just as he was pulling up his pants. We wrestled and unfortunately he got free and ran, but I had already got a very good look at his face.”
The elderly woman, meanwhile, had been stabbed several times, including in her head.

“She had been trying to resist her attacker.

“I decided not to chase him down and instead turned my attention to the injured woman because I thought she was seriously injured.
“There was so much blood on her, on her head,” he said.

“She later told me he had told her he was going to kill her when I passed there.”

He rushed the woman to the house of the headman nearby, and gathered a few men to hunt down the suspect.

The attack took place earlier this month.

Police later arrested Ayanda Gobeni (25), who is facing a charge of assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm.

He has been remanded in custody and is due to make his next court appearance on September 5 in the Willowvale Magistrates’ Court.

Hinxa, who has just finished a stint as an acting judge at the Queenstown High Court, said when he saw the woman he immediately thought of Tholeni village near Butterworth.

In Tholeni, 24 elderly women and children have been murdered over the past four years, he said.

“All I could think was this could be the start of another Tholeni, and I was not even concerned about my own safety.

“Something had to be done to stop this slaughter of women and children.

“That area is crime infested and this happened while we were in the process of petitioning for a satellite station there.”

Hinxa is currently the chief magistrate of Bloemfontein’s south region.

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