A Rayton mother who was raped together with her two teenaged daughters wiped tears from her eyes as a judge inspected the scars on the face of one of their alleged attackers.
They were raped by a member of a gang of men who broke into their home north of Pretoria.
The 37-year-old woman, who cannot be identified, was so terrified of the man that the court orderly had to escort him around the furthest point of the witness stand as he made his way to below the seat of the judge.
Judge Tshifiwa Maumela took several minutes in examining the scars on the face of Zimbabwean national Howard Sekani, 28. He then in detail described the scar running down the nose towards the lip of the accused, as well as other scars on his face.
This was after the woman testified in the North Gauteng High Court that she remembered that one of their attackers - “the man who held the gun” - had a distinctive scar on his face.
Sekani and fellow Zimbabwean Progress Shoko, 25, are facing several charges - three of rape, three of assault and one of armed robbery. Both pleaded not guilty to all the charges.
Shoko said he had an alibi and that he was in the company of friends at the time of the attack. Sekani chose to remain silent, but said his defence would become clear as the trial unfolded.
The mother was so traumatised by seeing her alleged attackers again, especially while the judge inspected Sekani’s face, that the proceedings had to adjourn early.
The three women fell prey to their attackers in March 2011. The younger woman is now 18 and still at school, and the other is 20.
The woman’s two daughters gave the go-ahead to the media and the public to sit in during their testimony, (to be presented later), but they asked that their mother not be present when they take the witness stand, as they wanted to save her the anguish of listening to their account of what happened to them.
Their mother, the first witness to take the stand, testified that she and her daughters, as well as three other family members - the youngest being 4 - had arrived home around 9pm.
The children went into the house and as she was about to enter, she saw five men jumping over the wall. She shouted at her daughters to hide and tried to run into the house, but one of the men grabbed her by the hair.
She was pulled into the house and the gang tied them up. The mother at a stage saw one of her daughters wrestling with the man she identified as Sekani, who kept a tight grip on his firearm.
They were all made to sit in the passage while they were tied with underwear and covered by a duvet. The gang ransacked the house and kept on asking for money and where the safe was.
The mother was then taken to her bedroom by the “smaller” man, who she identified as Shoko. She described how, while her hands and feet were tied, he threw her on the bed and raped her.
“He sexually assaulted me and said sex was better with a white woman. He also said I was a rich white bitch. This lasted for about 10 minutes.”
The woman said she saw him clearly, as his face was in her face.
After the rape she was made to go back to the lounge, where she saw her two daughters tied up. The one was lying on the couch and the other on the floor.
The family is being emotionally assisted at court by members of the Go Purple campaign, who also assisted Ina Bonette during the trial of her husband, dubbed the “Modimolle Monster”. Hettie Brittz said this was to try and make things a bit easier for the family.