Rape victim relives night of trauma

Copy of st palmRidgeCourt file (43449677) INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPERS Justice Albert Morake, the Tembisa serial rape accused, appears in the court. Picture: Dumisani Sibeko

Johannesburg - A rape victim regularly glanced at her alleged attacker as she recounted her traumatic ordeal in the South Gauteng High Court sitting in the Palm Ridge Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday.

Every time Lee* looked at Justice Albert Morake, she looked away and wiped her teary eyes.

The minute she started her testimony, her voice was shaky and she appeared nervous to testify against the man who is accused of raping her on the night of September 26, 2011.

The incident happened in Ebony Park, outside Tembisa.

Morake pleaded not guilty to 175 charges he is facing.

These charges include 53 counts of kidnapping; 27 of robbery with aggravating circumstances; 34 of rape; 12 of sexual offences and related matters; two attempted murders; four of grievous bodily harm; seven of theft; eight of unlawful possession of ammunition; and 28 of unlawful possession of firearms.

Recounting events of that night, Lee told the court how a suspicious-looking man approached her while she was standing outside her then boyfriend’s home.

She said that together with her ex-boyfriend, Cliff*, they noticed a car driving past them. They chose to ignore it.

But a few minutes later, the same car approached them and stopped a few metres away.

Lee said the man came towards them and was slowly reaching into his pocket.

“I took out my cellphone and gave it to Cliff. But it fell on the ground.

“I was shivering. I didn’t know what to do. I was afraid he might do something to me, so I gave him (Morake) the phone,” she said, adding that already the man was pointing a firearm at them.

Lee said the accused told them he was not satisfied with the phone. He told her he wanted to take her somewhere to conduct a thorough search.

The couple led the way to a nearby veld, followed by the accused.

At the veld, she said the man ordered Cliff to lie on the ground, tied his hands with a string attached to Cliff’s jersey and used lanyard (cord) for his legs.

Lee was then taken to the other side and instructed to kneel down. She told the court that she was wearing a miniskirt and a T-shirt on the day.

“He told me to take off my panties. He pulled up my skirt while I was kneeling down”, she said.

The woman said the man penetrated her from the back at gunpoint.

Once her ordeal was over, she told the court that her alleged rapist refused to give her underwear back.

“I was down and shivering. I didn’t know what to do. He later called out (from where Cliff was) and instructed me to sit next to Cliff,” she said.

Lee said the accused then left them shortly after she pleaded with him to leave and take whatever he wanted from them.

Cliff was also called to the stand, corroborating Lee’s account of the events. He is expected to be cross-examined on Thursday.

* Not their real names

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