Teen on trial for raping girls

2009-10-20 00:00

A 19-YEAR-OLD man pleaded not guilty in the high court in Pietermaritzburg yesterday to charges of housebreaking and robbery with aggravating circumstances, as well as the multiple rapes of a woman and two children aged 12 and nine years, in Northdale earlier this year.

Njabulo Mbhele told Judge Anton van Zyl and assessors that when he initially pleaded guilty to some of the charges at a previous hearing and made certain admissions, he did not do so freely and voluntarily, but as a result of “assaults and threats” by the investigating officer. He said therefore that any admissions he made previously were not true.

State advocate Suhanna Singh amended the charge sheet yesterday to include four additional rape charges against Mbhele.

The state alleges that he raped the woman three times during the incident; the 12-year-old girl twice and the nine-year-old once.

An intermediary has been sworn in by the court in preparation for testimony by the two children. They are to testify in an adjoining room via the intermediary to spare them the trauma of giving evidence in open court.

Singh told the court that all three of the rape victims are expected to give evidence for the state.

The state will also rely on medical evidence and the testimony of an expert witness from the Forensic Science Laboratory in Pretoria to the effect that Mbhele’s DNA was linked to the rape of the 12-year-old.

The state will also seek to admit a statement made by Mbhele to a Pietermaritzburg magistrate in connection with the case, but as he is disputing that the statement was made freely, a trial within a trial will be held to determine whether it can be admitted into evidence.

The state’s indictment alleges that Mbhele was drinking alcohol at his home in Northdale on the evening in question, Saturday, February 21, and decided that he wanted more to drink, but he had no money.

He decided to commit robbery in order to get money from a house nearby. He had a knife, which he used to commit his crimes.

The state alleges that he approached the victims’ home, pushed open the gate and kicked open the house door. Inside, he accosted the woman and children, brandishing his knife. He allegedly told the woman and one child to sit in a room and not move, and robbed them of a camera and a bank card.

He held the occupants hostage till the early hours of the morning and raped the three victims in turns. He fled before dawn.

The case is proceeding.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.