Man (34) faces 15 charges, including six of rape

2010-03-18 00:00

A 34-YEAR-OLD man from Sobantu is facing 15 charges, including six of rape and two of indecent assault, in the high court in Pietermaritzburg.

Sibusiso Joseph Sithole of Sikhosana Road pleaded not guilty to all the charges before Judge Kate Pillay and assessors yesterday.

Besides the alleged sexual offences, Sithole is charged with four counts of robbery with aggravating circumstances, two of assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm and a charge of kidnapping.

Four young women are the complainants in the offences, which were all allegedly committed between January and December 2007.

His first alleged victim — a 17-year-old woman — was on her way to the taxi rank in East Street in the city on January 1, 2007, when she was allegedly approached by Sithole and and unknown man.

They offered to show her where the taxi rank was and she accompanied them to a field near ML Sultan School.

Before arriving, the unknown man left, leaving the young woman in Sithole’s company.

Sithole allegedly demanded money from her, searched her, searched her handbag and then proceeded to rape and indecently assault her.

In her testimony yesterday, the young woman identified Sithole as her assailant. She told the court that soon after the rape, she had helped police draw up an identikit of him.

She said she had seen Sithole again not long after the rape — in about March 2007 — in Church Street, and subsequent to that she had pointed him out in a police identity parade.

The woman testified that he did not wear a condom when he raped her. Her evidence is due to resume today.

The state alleges that the second victim — a 22-year-old woman — was accosted on February 16, 2007, when she and Sithole were the last two passengers left behind in a taxi which had travelled from Ntabamhlophe to Pietermaritzburg.

They alighted near the taxi rank in East Street, where Sithole allegedly instructed her to follow him into the bush and threatened her with physical violence if she refused.

He allegedly raped her twice and demanded money from her.

The third alleged victim, aged 24 years, is said to have been accosted the next day while walking from Retief to Pietermaritz Street.

It is alleged that Sithole offered her a lift home, telling her his wife was waiting for him in a vehicle parked some distance away.

When they got to the vehicle on the corner of East and Church streets there was no one inside. He allegedly drove her to a spot near ML Sultan School and alighted. At the back of the school he allegedly demanded her cellphone and money, kicked her, punched her and hit her with a brick before raping her.

The fourth alleged victim — also aged 17 years — is said to have been approached by Sithole while she waited for a taxi on the corner of Retief and Church streets on the evening of December 28, 2007. He offered her a lift.

He allegedly drove her to ML Sultan school where he demanded money and a cellphone from her. He allegedly also searched her bag, but could not find money, and raped her twice.

The case is proceeding.

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