Man who raped woman at graveyard loses appeal against conviction, sentence

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Muziwenhlanhla Nene has lost his appeal against a rape conviction.
Muziwenhlanhla Nene has lost his appeal against a rape conviction.
  • A Gauteng rapist has lost an appeal against his conviction and sentence.
  • The man raped his victim at a graveyard and his residence.
  • He will now have to serve out his life sentence.

A man who kidnapped a woman and raped her at a graveyard and at his residence has lost an appeal against his conviction and sentence.

Muziwenhlanhla Nene will have to serve out his life sentence after the Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg dismissed his application.

Nene was sentenced to life behind bars in the Protea Regional Court for kidnapping and raping the 27-year-old woman in 2018.

Gauteng High Court Judge LR Adams confirmed the conviction and sentence this week. 

"This was a particularly serious case of rape where a young woman was forcibly taken against her will by the appellant – first to a cemetery and thereafter to his place of residence, where he subjected her to rape on three occasions," Adams said.

The woman had testified that on 6 January 2018, between 06:00 and 07:00, she was walking home from a tavern at the Nancefield Hostel in Soweto when she was accosted by Nene.

Raped her in a graveyard

The woman said Nene approached her from behind, brandishing a knife. He then dragged her to a nearby graveyard and raped her.

However, before raping her, Nene took off her pants and underwear, leaving her completely naked from the waist down. Nene also cut two of the victim's fingers when she grabbed the knife, read the judgment.

READ | Man arrested for rape of 70-year-old Cape Town woman

He then dragged her to his shack, which, according to the woman was "quite a distance" from the graveyard.

"The complainant was naked from the waist down. She had not been given a chance to retrieve her clothes and to get dressed before she was marched unceremoniously to the appellant's shack, where, so she testified, her ordeal continued," read the judgment.

"On their way to his shack, the appellant gave her his track suit top to cover the lower part of her body. Once inside his shack, the appellant locked the door and proceeded to rape her a second time," the judge said.

The woman told the court that after the incident Nene asked her if she loved him and wanted a beer.

The two drank the alcohol, and when Nene went to buy more alcohol the woman escaped.

Nene denied that he had raped the woman.

According to the judgment, Nene said he and the woman, whom he knew by a different name, had been involved in a relationship since the previous month, December 2017."It bears emphasising that in his evidence-in-chief, the appellant made reference to the complainant by a name and a surname which have no resemblance to those of the complainant."

Adams said Nene's version did not explain the medical evidence of the woman's injuries.

"Viewed holistically, the version of the appellant is not tenable. What is also instructive is the fact that the appellant did not know the correct name of the complainant, who supposedly had been his girlfriend for about a month. Also, he did not know where exactly she lived," the judge said.

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