Teacher’s rapist convicted

2009-09-23 00:00

PIETERMARITZBURG Judge Achmat Jappie and two assessors yesterday convicted a 22-year-old Donnybrook man, Zwelithini Sibiya, of multiple charges, including robbery, kidnapping and two rapes of a KZN teacher.

The teacher was beaten, shot and wounded, told she would die and left tied by her neck to a tree by her assailant at Hella-Hella near Richmond on March 13 this year.

The court found two youths — aged 16 and 17 — guilty of forming a common purpose with Sibiya to rob the teacher of her vehicle after she agreed to give the trio a lift.

One of the youths was also convicted of forming a common purpose with Sibiya to unlawfully possess a firearm. The youth passed Sibiya the firearm that he used to threaten the woman and to fire a shot at motorist Albert Vincent Knott, who had stopped to help the victim

Knott called the police to report the hijacking and Constable Thulawazi Johannes Nzimande responded.

Judge Jappie complimented Nzimande for his diligence, which led to the rescue of the rape victim.

He said that but for Nzimande’s quick response one wondered what would have happened to the woman.

Nzimande found Sibiya in the vicinity of the complainant’s car (which had stopped after a puncture) and established that he possessed the woman’s bank cards. From information he obtained from Sibiya, he was able to find and rescue the victim from the forest.

The judge said the court had no hesitation in accepting the evidence of Nzimande and the complainant — who identified all three accused as her assailants — and rejecting that of Sibiya and the youths. He said that to brand Sibiya a liar was an “understatement”.

Sibiya simply denied the victim’s allegations and description of what he did to her.

She testified that she knew all the accused and regarded them as “children”. When at first one of the youths pulled up the handbrake of her car and the other grabbed her, “choking” her, she thought they were joking.

After Knott interrupted the robbery, both youths fled. The woman testified that they shouted to Sibiya to shoot her as they ran away.

Sibiya forced her to drive on, and after the tyre punctured he forced her to accompany him into the bush. He continually slapped her, beat her with his firearm and threatened to kill her. Before he raped her for the first time he shot her in the upper arm.

The woman said he left her tied up and said he was going to draw money from her bank cards, but while she was trying to get free he returned. He then laughed at her and said he wanted a “second turn”. After moving to a different place, he raped her a second time.

The woman described how Sibiya tied her to another tree by her neck so that she was unable to move her head.

The court will consider sentencing submissions today.



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