Uber rape trial: 'He pulled out a knife and turned around' - witness testifies

2019-02-06 22:07
(Supplied, Uber)

(Supplied, Uber)

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The Gauteng High Court sitting in Palm Ridge has heard that a woman hailed an Uber to take her home after an evening at Montecasino in Fourways, only to end up spending the night tied up and stuffed inside the boot of a fake driver's car.

The chilling details were revealed during Day 3 of the trial of four men accused of committing various violent crimes in Gauteng, including rape, attempted rape, attempted murder, kidnapping, robbery with aggravating circumstances and assault with the intent to cause grievous bodily harm.

The accused, Mmotlane Elias Mankgane, and his three-co accused, Daniel Maswikaneng, Sikhosana Bonga and Themba Mkuwanazi, appeared in the dock on Wednesday.

The court heard that the woman requested an Uber at around 19:00 on August 2, 2016.

Mankgane picked her up in a vehicle which had the same registration number as the one reflected on her Uber app.

She entered the car and sat in the seat. But, instead of being driven to her destination, Mankgane pulled over at a parking lot, she told the court.

"He pulled out a knife and turned around. I was not paying attention during the trip, so I did not see where the knife came from or the tape.

"I was taped with my hands behind my back and he proceeded to tape my mouth and rolled me into the boot. At this point, I thought I might not survive the ordeal and he was going to kill me," she told the court.

The witness added that during the course of the night, he unbuttoned her pants, sat her down and stuck his hand inside her underwear.

"He touched my vagina, he could not penetrate me with his fingers because I crossed my legs to stop him," the witness said.

ALSO READ: Breakthrough in Uber rape, robbery cases

Mankgane, 26, has pleaded not guilty.  

His advocate, Michelle Ives, said her client would testify that testimony was "nothing but a figment of the witness's imagination".

"I put it to you that Accused [One] will testify that he did not pick you up… he was never at this event and he did not do all of the things you have alleged," Ives said.

She responded saying: "He can deny it all he wants, it was him. He did do all of these things to me." 

Ives further put it to the witness that her version of events was "improbable" and "unbelievable".

"It is improbable that the driver would have made so many public stops with you in the boot and you made no attempt to escape," she said.

"I don't think anyone would notice that I was in the boot as it was not opened regardless of the fact that he was driving in public places," the witness said in response.

The trial continues on Thursday when another witness is expected to take the stand.

Read more on:    uber  |  johannesburg  |  crime  |  women abuse
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