Woman relives rape ordeal

2009-09-01 00:00

A 51-YEAR-OLD woman who was robbed, raped and subjected to repeated sexual assaults in her Scottsville home by a young assailant wielding a carving knife in April 2008, told the high court in Pietermaritzburg yesterday that more than a year later she still has nightmares about the attack.

The woman, who remained composed, described how she pleaded with her attacker for her life throughout her two-hour ordeal and begged him not to stab her.

Once, as she pleaded with him, he responded that he “felt like murdering someone”.

There were times he spoke to her, asking personal questions like whe­ther she was married and if she had a boyfriend. The woman said she thought the attack was premeditated because it emerged, for example, that the rapist knew exactly what car her boyfriend drove and when he had last visited her.

She told the court that throughout the man was “in control” and seemed to know exactly what he was doing. Twice he made her take a bath after raping her, and also made her wash the bed sheets. While she was in the bath he stood next to her holding the knife.

He spoke good English and she got the impression he had a “good education”, she testified.

The victim identified 20-year-old accused Sanele Nhlankanipho Shezi of Scottsville as her assailant.

She previously pointed him out during a police identity parade when she requested that he be made to shave off a moustache he had grown, so that she could properly identify him by a distinguishing white pigmentation mark above his top lip.

The victim said the ordeal started after she spilled some coffee and went into the back yard to fetch a mop.

Shezi accosted her with a carving knife. He slapped her, forced her back inside and demanded money. He made her empty her handbag on to the dining table and then put her cash, along with her bank card and pin number, into his jeans pocket.

When they entered her bedroom he immediately told her to switch on the television, turn up the sound and lie on the bed. He then started raping her.

The woman said he eventually left after tying her hands behind her back with the telephone cord and gagging her with a scarf. He locked the bedroom.

After freeing her hands, she first barricaded the door with bedroom furniture before pressing the panic button in case he was still in the house. She then screamed for help through her bathroom window and alerted neighbours. They and the police had to kick open the locked bedroom door.

The woman told Judge Achmat Jappie and two assessors that after her terrifying ordeal she felt unable to return to her home and went to stay with friends. She could not even bring herself to go home to fetch clothing or personal items unless someone accompanied her.

She said she sold the house after three months.

She testified that she was independent before the attack, but since then has been too afraid to go out in the evening to visit people.

She has had counselling, but still sometimes has nightmares.

Shezi pleaded guilty to six counts of rape, but denied two other rape allegations, stating he “could not remember” these alleged acts, as well as a charge of sexual assault. He also pleaded not guilty to robbery with aggravating circumstances.

he told me he felt like murdering someone. Rape survivor


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