Taxi driver guilty of raping pregnant woman

2015-04-15 19:56

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Mbombela - A Mpumalanga taxi driver accused of raping and kidnapping a five-month pregnant woman four years ago has been found guilty.

Harry Ndabandaba, 31, from Matsulu near Malalane, was convicted when he appeared in the Nelspruit Regional Court on Wednesday.

He was arrested after being accused of raping, kidnapping and stealing the woman's cellphone, after her husband's taxi ran out of petrol on the night of June 17 2011.
He was also charged with defeating the ends of justice after trying to open a case of vehicle theft shortly after the incident.

Magistrate André Geldenhuys said the couple testified that their car stopped just after dropping passengers at Mkwakweni village.

“Accused stopped next to them in his Fiat Uno. After talking to the husband, you promised to return with help. You drove away and returned shortly with two other men. This time, parked your cab [taxi] at a distance,” he said.

Geldenhuys said the accused and his friends pretended to assist the couple.
“After the wife gave her husband R150, your two friends accompanied him on foot to buy petrol. She later heard him screaming a distance away, saying he was being robbed,” he said.

The magistrate said at that instant, the accused opened the couple's front door, took the woman's cellphone.

“You forced her to undress her trouser and panties, pushed the seat back and raped her. One of your friends returned. He knocked on the car's window, disturbed you before you completed the rape.

“You asked him to drag her to your taxi, forced her inside and drove off with her against her will. Your aim was to finish the rape, but unfortunately your cab [taxi] also ran out of petrol,” he said.

Alerted police

Geldenhuys said the woman managed to escape to a nearby house, where she was assisted and taken to the police station.

“She was so traumatised that she had to be handed to people from Grip for counselling, before being taken to the clinic,” he said.
He said the couple were able to identify the accused well. The man knew him as they both drove taxis.

“You said you also knew him, as you usually meet during drinking at a local spaza. The woman saw you well in the bright light in your cab [taxi]. There was also a bright light from a streetlight where your car stopped,” he said.

Geldenhuys said when the accused went to the police station to report his taxi had been stolen, she saw him again.

“She alerted a police officer but got no attention. You left afterwards only to be later arrested at your home. You are, therefore, found guilty as charged,” said the magistrate.

The case was postponed to April 21 for sentencing.

Read more on:    mbombela  |  crime

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