‘I don’t know why I raped’

2009-09-02 00:00

SANELE Nhlankanipho Shezi (20) could not explain yesterday what made him threaten a 51-year-old woman with a carving knife and repeatedly rape her in her Scottsville home on April 4 last year.

Shezi — who was convicted yesterday of all 12 charges he faced — earlier gave evidence before Judge Achmat Jappie and two assessors in which he again admitted that he raped the woman numerous times, but denied other charges.

He testified that he is a drug addict and used large quantities of a drug called “rock”, and drank alcohol on the night in question. He said a side effect of this combination was to make a person suffer “blackouts”.

Shezi said that when he jumped over a wall into the woman’s back yard and waited some 10 minutes before she came out to fetch a mop that night, his only intention was to steal goods from her garage. He was armed in order to “frighten” anyone who confronted him.

He strongly denied the woman’s suggestion that he had “kept an eye” on her movements and those of her boyfriend before the attack, even though he admitted that he lived nearby with his parents, who supported him.

Shezi disputed the victim’s evidence that he robbed her of cash, a cellphone, bank card and DVD player; that he assaulted her by slapping her face and dislodging her spectacles: that he struck her on her back with the butt of his knife during an act of rape, or that he performed certain of the sexual assaults she described.

He also denied that he tied her up with a piece of telephone cord, gagged her and then locked her in her bedroom when he fled the scene.

In his judgment, Jappie said it was the unanimous view of the court that Shezi was guilty on all the counts, including robbery with aggravating circumstances, eight counts of rape, one of sexual assault, one of assault and one of kidnapping.

He said it is significant that Shezi admitted in his evidence that his birthday is on August 27.

The victim testified that during her ordeal Shezi asked her personal questions, including the date of her birthday. When she replied that it was August 27, he laughed and said it was funny because that was also his birthday.

Jappie said there would be no reason for the complainant to lie about what Shezi had done to her, especially in view of the degrading nature of the acts she described.

Her testimony that she was tied up and locked in her room was also borne out by her neighbour, who had to kick down the bedroom door when he and the police arrived to help her.

Under cross-examination by state advocate Dorian Paver, Shezi said he could not answer why he raped the victim. “I do not know what made me do it,” he responded.

He also said he did not know why he made her take a bath twice in between raping her, although he admitted that he knew about forensic analysis and DNA testing.

Shezi strongly denied evidence that he used a cloth wrapped round the handle of his carving knife to wipe down the light switches as well as the parquet flooring when he left.

Paver suggested to him that the only possible reason for doing that would have been to erase his fingerprints.

The case was postponed until today for the court to hear submissions on sentencing.

Shezi faces a possible life sentence for the multiple rapes.

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