Rhodes Park rape victim's husband's last word was her name

2016-10-25 16:13
Rhodes Park in Kensington, Johannesburg. (File)

Rhodes Park in Kensington, Johannesburg. (File)

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Johannesburg - One of the Rhodes Park rape victims, whose husband was killed during the attack, came face to face with her alleged attackers in the High Court sitting in Palm Ridge on Tuesday.

She fainted as she walked off the stand after giving her testimony. She sobbed as the three accused watched. They are Thabo Nkala, 25, Admore Ndlovu, 23, and Mduduzi Mathibela Lawrence, 32.

They have pleaded not guilty to charges of robbery with aggravating circumstances, rape, and murder. 

The woman, who cannot be named, gave a heart-wrenching testimony that left many in the court room in tears. She was being questioned by prosecutor Mutuwa Nengovhela.

She told the court her husband's last words were him calling out her name before he drowned in the park’s lake.

"They were praying loudly and then they started calling out our names and the prayers faded," she said.

During the first hour of her testimony, she appeared calm, often gesticulating while describing the events that led to her husband's death.

'They all did what they wanted'

She explained in vivid detail how the gang of about 12 men cut her panties with a knife as others shoved fingers into her vagina.

"Two fingers... were shoved into my vagina. When I tried to close my legs, they were forced open. They said to me that maybe there is something hiding inside," she told the court.

"They all did what they wanted. It was not just one person who put their finger in me. Everyone did as they pleased."

She told the court that about three or four times she felt fingers being inserted into her vagina.

The ringleader shouted that "blood should be spilled" because they had not found any valuables on the two couples. 

She described how the alleged ringleader demanded she open her thighs and lie face up.

At that stage there were only two men left on the scene, she told the Judge Papi Masopa. 

"He said to me, open your thighs and then he dragged my thighs open. At that stage he was in possession of a gun and I thought he was going to kill me. He dropped his pants below his knees and he penetrated me. It did not take long before I heard him ejaculating."

Her attacker was not wearing any protection, she said.

'I screamed my husband's name'

She was in tears as she described how, after the man finished raping her, she noticed her friend's underwear had also been ripped apart. 

"I did not hear what happened to her, but she was also lying in the same position as I, facing up and the legs spread apart. When I asked if they had raped her, she said 'no'," she said as tears poured down her face. 

She told the court that the two men left them at the scene, screaming that their husbands "were swimming in the dam like it was their personal swimming pool". 

She said, after the suspects fled, she screamed for her husband.

"I screamed my husband's name and there was no response. While we were screaming their names, at some stage we saw a head popping out of the water, it was dark. I screamed his name, then the person disappeared and there was nothing else."

The woman said she was deeply traumatized. She told the court she was in hospital for three months.  

"I was hurt by this incident. I was hospitalised until January. I was hurt," the teary woman said. 

The case was postponed to Wednesday.


Read more on:    johannesburg  |  crime

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