Tears as woman tells of her ordeal

2009-09-18 00:00

A TEACHER was dry-eyed as courtroom spectators wept when she said she was raped twice, tied to trees twice, shot and wounded, bled from pistol-whipping, slapped, punched, robbed and threatened with death. She said she cried tears of joy when a policeman freed her from a tree and told her: “You are now free.”

She then broke down in the witness box and the court adjourned.

She spent a week in hospital to recover from her ordeal, which lasted from about 1 pm until sunset. The incidents took place on the Richmond-Donnybrook road in March this year.

The teacher told Judge Achmat Jappie and assessors in the high court that her main tormentor was Zwelithini Innocent Sibiya (25) of Donnybrook who lived near her school and coached the pupils in singing.

She also knew Sibiya’s two co-accused, youths of 16 and 17.

The youths are charged with the aggravated robbery of the woman and possession of a handgun from which the serial numbers were erased, but not with the two rapes and other crimes.

The woman told the court that she picked up the three accused as she was driving home. On the way the 17-year-old grabbed her round the throat and the 16-year-old pulled up the handbrake and said they wanted the car. The older youth said: “Shoot the bitch!”

She said: “I became scared. This was like a dream. I said they should take the vehicle. They said that if they took the vehicle they would have to kill me.

“Sibiya had a gun and the youths tried to put me in the boot, but it did not open. I was crying and screaming. A white man stopped, but drove off when Sibiya shot at him and the youths ran away.

“Suddenly Sibiya hit me with his fist, loosening some upper teeth and breaking lower teeth. I was going crazy trying to ward off his blows and slaps.

“He shot me in the left arm.

“Sibiya forced me into a bush and threatened to kill me. He asked me for my cellphone and again assaulted me when I did not know [where it was].

“He began to touch me from my breasts moving to my hips and said: ‘Can I screw you?’ I said he was almost the same size as my child. He took off my clothes and raped me.

“He then tied my petticoat round my mouth, bound my wound and tied me up against a tree, tying my wrists with straps he cut from a sports bag.

“He said he would go to my car, take my credit cards, go to the bank, draw money and kill me.

“He left and I tried to untie my trusses, but he returned and he hit me, calling me a bitch for trying to loosen my bonds. He asked if I wanted to die and I asked him to forgive me. He said I would eventually die, but [he] had not found what he wanted.

“He untied me and said I should give him a second screw.

“He raped me again and then forced my petticoat into my mouth and again tied me to a tree and he threatened me: ‘Try to loosen yourself. I will use your car to go and draw the money.’ He asked me for my card pin numbers and he tried to memorise them.

“I tried to untie myself and after a while I heard footsteps. I could not look round because a rope bit into my neck … I was terrified that he was returning to finish me off, but two policemen arrived and one said: ‘You are now free’. I could not cry at first, but then I shed tears of joy.”

The accused have pleaded not guilty to all the charges. The trial continues today.

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