Zim cousins in court for rape, robbery

Crime & Courts

Pretoria - A woman on Tuesday identified a Zimbabwean man as the robber who had raped and assaulted her in her home in Rayton in the east of Pretoria three years ago.

The trial of Zimbabwean cousins Progress Shoko, 28, and Howard Sekani, 31, in the High Court in Pretoria had to adjourn early when the woman, 37, became upset and started crying.

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Shoko and Sekani pleaded not guilty to a charge of robbery with aggravating circumstances, three of rape and three of assault with the intent to do grievous bodily harm.

The State alleges the two were part of a gang which forced their way into the Rayton family's home on the evening of March 12, 2011, raped and assaulted a woman and her two daughters, then aged 17 and 15, and robbed them of goods worth R62,860.

The loot included three cellphones, two laptops, other electronic goods, jewellery and one girl's school shoes and bag.

Shoko claimed in a statement he had only been in South Africa for 21 days when he was arrested, had been at home the whole evening and knew nothing about the robbery and rapes.

Sekani did not make any statement in explanation of his plea.

The woman testified she had arrived home with her two daughters and three young family members at 9pm, and was about to go inside when she saw five men jumping over the wall.

She screamed for the children to hide and wanted to run inside, but one of the men grabbed her by the hair and forced her inside, where she saw the children being tied up.

She was forced to watch while Sekani, with a firearm in his hand, wrestled with her 17-year-old daughter.

She identified Sekani from a feint scar on his lip but did not want him anywhere near her to point out the scar to the court.

She testified that she and the children were all tied up, forced to sit in the corridor and had a duvet thrown over them while the men searched the house.

She said Shoko and Sekani later returned and asked where the money and the safe was. They became angry when the woman told them there was no safe and started punching and kicking their victims.

When her eldest daughter again told Sekani there was no safe, he punched the girl on the nose so hard than blood ran down her face.

Shoko then took the mother to her bedroom while the other children were put in different rooms, with Sekani staying with her two daughters.

Inside the bedroom Shoko, who was armed with a knife, tied her up with electric cables, pushed her onto the bed and raped her.

“He said sex was nicer with a white woman and I was a rich white bitch... The sexual assault went on for about ten minutes,” she said.

The trial continues.


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