Rape accused opts not togive evidence

2010-04-01 00:00

FAIZEL Sayed of Howick, on trial for 29 counts of murder, kidnapping, rape and robbery chose not to give evidence in his defence in the high court in Pietermaritzburg yesterday.

Sayed’s case resumed this week after a lengthy postponement.

After state advocate Ian Cooke closed the prosecution’s case yesterday, Sayed’s advocate, Louis Barnard, told Acting Judge Ben van Heerden and two assessors that his client has elected not to take the witness stand.

He asked the court to confirm this with Sayed.

The judge warned Sayed (35) that the decision is “serious” and could have “serious consequences” for him.

The judge urged him to reconsider the matter, to again discuss his position with his family and his advocate while the case was stood down for half-an-hour.

When the hearing resumed, Sayed said he has not changed his mind and elected to remain silent.

It was suggested on his behalf during cross-examination of the state witnesses that eight adolescents and young women who claimed to have been raped by Sayed are falsely implicating him and that each of them had consented to have sexual intercourse with him.

The court heard the evidence of the complainants to the effect that the women had been lured into accompanying Sayed to a place in the forest near the Liberty Midlands Mall where he alleged sexually assaulted and raped them.

Some of the victims alleged that he also physically assaulted them during the ordeal by hitting, punching or kicking them with booted feet and that he used a knife to threaten them.

The incidents allegedly occured between April and June 2008.

Sayed has also pleaded not guilty to the murder and rape of nine-year-old Nombuso Nhlangulela, whose body was discovered in Howick four days after her disappearance from her primary school on February 28, 2008.

The state led evidence that Sayed’s DNA linked him to Nombuso’s rape and murder.

The state earlier this week handed in a transcript of evidence that was recorded during a bail application by Sayed following his arrest on June 22, 2008.

According to the transcript, Sayed claimed to have alibis for the times of the alleged rape incidents.

Questioning the investigating officer, Leonie Hopkins, Sayed’s advocate, Brad Osborne, suggested to her that Sayed had told her he had alibis for the times the rapes were allegedly committed and that he “was at work” at those times. This was confirmed by

Hopkins confirmed Sayed had said that.

The case has been adjourned to October 4 for the defence case.

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