The Accused was charged with 3 counts to which he pleaded as follows:
(1) Not guilty to housebreaking with intent to commit rape;
(2) Not guilty to rape; and
(3) Guilty to attempted murder.
The Accused entered into a plea explanation in which he stated as follows:
On his way home, the Accused saw the Complainant crossing the same street in which he was walking. The Accused asked the Complainant for a sum of money in order to buy a litre of wine to which the Complainant responded that she did not have the money. Thereafter, the Accused followed the Complainant into a shack where he again asked her for money to which she again responded that she had already told him that she did not have money. Upon noticing the Complainant getting angry, the Accused slapped her across her face. The Complainant then went towards a cupboard and gave the Accused the impression that she was looking for a weapon. As a result, the Accused drew a pocket knife and stabbed the Complainant several times and thereafter left and went home to sleep. The Accused explained that he was woken up and assaulted by community members the next day where after the Police arrived and he was arrested.
The Complainant testified that on the night in question, she had left for her shack and upon entering the locked door, she felt a bang on the door. She further testified that the door was kicked open and the Accused entered the shack and “went for her”. He proceeded to strangle her and threatened to rape her. Thereafter, the Accused stabbed the Complainant several times all over her body and forcefully had sexual intercourse with her.
After raping the Complainant, the Accused passed out on the floor next to the Complainant’s bed and the Complainant finally got a chance to run to her neighbour’s house where she was able to report the incident.
The Police arrived in the early hours of the morning and the Complainant was admitted to hospital where she was detained for two days and was made aware that her alleged rapist was apprehended by community members. Under cross examination, she remained adamant that the Accused was the person who had raped her.
Further to the above, the Complainant denied that she was ever asked for money from the Accused and denied vehemently that the Accused did not rape her.
The neighbour of the Complainant also testified that she heard the Complainant knocking at her door and screaming that she was dying. Upon opening the door, she had realised that the Complainant was badly injured and bleeding. She further confirmed that the Complainant narrated the story to her just as she had testified in court.
The Chief Medical Officer for Grahamstown was called upon by the State to explain some of the findings on the J88 report. The report noted the stab wounds, strangulation marks as well as the fact that the Complainant had had injuries that were bleeding and that she was in shock and in pain. The report concluded that the Complainant was sexually assaulted and the Complainant’s evidence was corroborated by the J88.
It was found that even though the Complainant did not know the assailant or the Accused, common sense dictated that the Accused was the one who committed the Crimes against the Complainant as he admitted to having followed the Complainant to her house and further admitted that it was him who stabbed her.
It was found that the Complainant’s evidence was credible whilst the same could not be said of the Accused. The Accused could not explain anything when the facts were put to him and accordingly his evidence was rejected.
The Accused was found guilty as charged on all three counts.
The case illustrates the importance of a credible witness and credible evidence.
Written by Jayna Hira and supervised by Jenna Bentel, 8 February 2019