Woman tells of dead aunt’s rape ordeal

2012-10-23 00:00

A 31-YEAR-OLD woman described yesterday how she had found the naked body of her aunt floating in water at Mpumalanga township the day after they were attacked whilst returning home from a night vigil.

Sihle Zuma (23) and Nkanyiso Mkhize (22) pleaded not guilty before Judge Isaac Madondo in the Pietermaritzburg high court to the gang rape and murder of Juava Mildred Mdlalose (50), and robbery with aggravating circumstances of her husband, Beshu Alfred Mdlalose, on December 18, 2009.

The couple’s niece, Philisiwe Mdlalose, testified she was walking home with them at about 10 pm when “three boys approached”.

The young men had gone past and then stopped, pretending they were tying their laces.

“When we were close to them they grabbed my uncle by the neck. They assaulted him and he fell down,” she said.

She identified Zuma as one of the assailants. She said he had hit her when she and her aunt intervened to stop the assault.

She managed to run away to the nearby Mpala tavern to seek help. On her return to the scene with others they found her uncle still lying on the floor.

Her aunt was missing.

The following day, Mdlalose accompanied police when they searched the area. At a place “where excavations had taken place” they found her aunt’s clothing. Soon afterwards they found her naked body floating in a “dam or water hole”.

The state alleges that the assailants had forced Mildred Mdlalose to accompany them to the place and took turns to rape her.

They thereafter decided to kill her to safeguard their identities.

They allegedly pushed her into the waterhole with the intention of drowning her.

The cause of death was ruled to be a head injury.

The accused claim to have alibis for the time the offences were committed.

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