‘Rape victims should scream rape’ – rugby player’s lawyer

Khwezi Mafu in action for Grey High in 2015. Picture: Die Son
Khwezi Mafu in action for Grey High in 2015. Picture: Die Son

In the early hours of the morning of December 28, Khwezi Mafu, Blue Bulls rugby star, allegedly raped an 18-year-old girl, next to the road in KwaMagxaki, Port Elizabeth.

He also allegedly assaulted the girl and took her phone from her.

The loose forward in the under 21 squad of the Blue Bulls was arrested hours later, at the Kabega Police Station in Kabega, a suburb west of Port Elizabeth.

Peter Gouws, one of the two attorneys representing Mafu, said the charges were just delaying the rugby star’s bright future.

Arguing in their bail application bid, Gouws said releasing Mafu on bail would not cause an outrage because rape is a common occurrence in South Africa.

“My client is sitting in a jail cell needlessly. He can’t even train in preparation for his journey to become captain in France,” said Gouws, during the extended bail application at the New Brighton Magistrate’s court.

“The complainant was not even emotional. She didn’t cry and she didn’t scream for help during the rape,” said Gouws.

“Rape victims should scream rape: ‘I’m being raped.’ The complainant never did, so this was clearly consensual sex,” he said.

These were some of the arguments he tabled before the court in the past three bail application appearances in his bid to have his client granted bail.

He said the charges were not “Schedule 6”, as the prosecution was stating.

He also rubbished the triple rape charges and allegations levelled against his client, saying they were nonsensical.

Mafu has been languishing in North End Correctional Centre, more popularly known as “Rooi Hell”, since his arrest just hours after the alleged rape on December 28.

A damning medical report presented by the prosecution painted a grim picture of what allegedly happened in the early hours of December 28, after the complainant and Mafu had gone out on a “date”.

The complainant, who cannot be named to protect her identity, is known to City Press.

Her father, who also asked not to be named, said he would speak to City Press as soon as the application had been concluded.

“We just want to see this process through, then we can talk on this ordeal,” he said.

The physical report outlined the extent of the injuries sustained by the complainant during the alleged triple rape – orally, vaginally and anally.

Captain Michael Shanigan, standing in for the investigating officer, who is on leave, gave evidence on the complainant’s testimony.

Reading from a compiled summary of the docket, he said the medical report stated that the complainant had never had sex before the incident. He said that the injuries she sustained were consistent with forced sex.

“The physical examination was conducted in a period of less than five hours after the alleged rape,” said Shanigan.

“The report states that the complainant was emotional and sober during the examination,” he said.

There were gasps in the gallery when Shanigan gave evidence from the statements of the complainant.

“He came from behind me as I was making my way home,” read the statement.

“He grabbed me and forcefully pushed me to the ground ... He stuck his penis in my mouth for me to suck it.”

The statement said that Mafu forcefully removed the complainant’s pants and panties.

“He penetrated me vaginally forcefully. It was very sore and uncomfortable. When he was done, I got up. He shouted me and asked: ‘Who said I’m done?’ He then pushed me to the ground again and penetrated me anally. I passed a stool, he then said to me: ‘I will continue doing it, even if you sh*t.’

“He then got up and left, I took my clothes and ran down the street towards home. He followed me and grabbed me from the back, pushing me forward – I fell to the ground forward.”

The statement says Mafu demanded her cellphone. When she refused, he hit her in her face with an open hand.

“I handed the phone to him. He asked for my password. I gave him the wrong one. He tried to open my phone but couldn’t because the password was wrong.”

He allegedly hit her again. Mafu allegedly turned and ran back to his car, which was parked some distance from the pair.

“When I got home, I told my dad what had happened and he took me to the hospital and later to the police station to lay charges against Mafu.”

The defence team has disputed the key evidence presented by Shanigan.

Both Advocate Terry Price and Gouws said the alleged rape was consensual sex and that the complainant had been afraid of her father, hence she opted for the rape accusations.

Shanigan said he had no reason not to believe the complainant.

He also said that his job before court was easy, because it didn’t require for him to defend anyone.

“I am only required to give information for the court to prove the case. I am not here to defend anyone,” said Shanigan.

“Therefore, I have no reason to give false evidence, on this matter.”

He said the injuries also confirmed that the complainant was physically assaulted.

Mafu’s defence team said that the complainant had been explicitly fondling him (Mafu), throughout the night during a get-together in a flat in Central.

They alleged that she had been drinking different types of alcohol.

In supporting affidavits, Mafu’s brothers and friends stated that the complainant had indulged in multiple alcoholic drinks and smoked dagga.

They said she was highly intoxicated, however the medical report disputed their allegations.

Mafu said he should be released on bail because cricket star Makhaya Ntini and President Jacob Zuma had been granted bail, even though they were also charged with rape.

In April of 1999 at the age of 22, former national cricketer Makhaya Ntini was found guilty of raping a 22 year old woman at the Buffalo Park cricket ground on December 2  of 1998. Ntini appealed the ruling and the Grahamstown High Court overturned his conviction in October 1999.     

Magistrate Una Rhodes stood the matter down until Thursday for judgment on the bail applicant.

Mafu remains in custody.

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