Teen tells of affair with accused cop

2011-08-03 00:00

A 17-YEAR-OLD teenager yesterday told a regional court magistrate she started a sexual relationship with a Howick police officer, Michael Sokhela (40), during 2006 when she was 12.

The teenager gave evidence in camera before regional magistrate Chris van Vuuren in connection with a charge of statutory rape facing Sokhela.

Sokhela has pleaded not guilty to a total of 17 charges including the statutory rape, theft of a firearm, unlawful possession of a revolver, two counts of attempted murder, driving under the influence of alcohol, reckless and negligent driving, malicious injury to property, pointing a firearm, intimidation, defeating the ends of justice, refusing to give a blood or breath sample to a traffic officer, receiving stolen property as well as theft of a portable police radio, pager and other items from the police station commissioner at Howick.

The charge of receiving stolen property arises from an allegation that Sokhela obtained stolen goods from Welcome Madlala, who was convicted of taking part in the robbery and murder of former KZN government spokesperson Warwick Dorning, who was shot in his home on November 7, 2009.

The alleged statutory rape victim told Van Vuuren that Sokhela was aware of her age when he embarked on a sexual relationship with her because she “grew up in front of him” and he previously had a relationship with her older sister, she said. At one stage he helped her to obtained a new birth certificate after hers was lost, she said.

She told the court she was a virgin when the sexual relationship started during November 2006, and that it continued until September 2009.

She alleged that she sometimes stayed with Sokhela in his room at the police station and they sometimes had sexual intercourse in the back of a police van.

One day in 2006 he stopped her as she was about to alight from his vehicle and held onto her parcels.

She said, “He said he wasn’t going to let go unless I kiss him. I refused and asked him what would my mother do if she had to hear that I kissed him.

“He said my mother would never know because it was something to keep between the two of us. I then agreed. I said I was only going to kiss him if he was then going to hand over the bags … I kissed him.”

The case is proceeding.

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