DNA evidence exonerates Howick jogger rape accused

2016-07-28 15:30
The Curry’s Post Road where a woman was raped while jogging. (Jonathan Burton, The Witness)

The Curry’s Post Road where a woman was raped while jogging. (Jonathan Burton, The Witness)

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Durban - A man accused of raping a Johannesburg businesswoman who had been jogging in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands last year is a free man, after DNA evidence didn’t link him to the crime.

The woman had been dragged into a roadside ditch and raped at knifepoint.

The incident shook the close-knit community of Howick to its core, and cast doubt over the safety of the Curry’s Post area, a popular spot for trail runners and cyclists.

National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Natasha Ramkisson-Kara said that when the DNA evidence excluded the suspect, the criminal charge of rape against him was scrapped.

"I can confirm that the charge in this matter was withdrawn. The result of the DNA test excludes the individual as the perpetrator. In the light of this, the matter was brought forward and the charges withdrawn," she said.

The man, who had not been named in the matter, was released last week after spending over a year in custody awaiting his trial.

South African Community Action Network spokesperson Brian Jones, who had been assisting the rape victim and the police with their investigation, expressed his shock at the outcome of the case.

"I am so shocked. Some cases, you have that 5% doubt, but in this case I was happy that we were 100% ready for court and my personal motto of 'I would rather a guilty man be free than an innocent man be in jail' was met. The accused is not innocent in this matter," he maintained.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  crime

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