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'I know his face, he was there': Rape survivor stands her ground under cross-examination

The body of 27-year-old woman is full of scars after her attacker tried to slit her throat and stabbed her several times as she was fighting him. Picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency(ANA)

The body of 27-year-old woman is full of scars after her attacker tried to slit her throat and stabbed her several times as she was fighting him. Picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency(ANA)

Published May 12, 2022

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Cape Town - Defence counsel for Leonard Mzingeli on Wednesday put the woman he is accused of raping through a vigorous cross-examination of the content of a statement she made regarding the attack.

Mzingeli has pleaded guilty to the murder of Amahle Quku and is also accused of the rape and attempted murder of the 27-year-old woman.

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The woman stood her ground in court as advocate Michael Sibueng attempted to cast doubt on her version of events by concentrating on the details of the various scenes where the brutal attack took place.

Mzingeli is charged following the brutal attack on the woman which tool place in Siyangena informal settlement on October 26, 2019. The woman said she was stabbed multiple times by the perpetrator, and raped and left to die.

A statement she made after the attack was provisionally allowed to be heard in court. In it she said that after the incident, while she lay injured in a nearby field, her friends passed by and she told them what had happened. When asked about it in court, however, she said that this was incorrect as she was unable to speak at the time.

Another element of her statement she disputed was that she had said the suspect was unknown to her at the time of the incident.

“Where it says the time the suspect raped me, he was unknown to me, that is a lie. I did not say that. I know, I had seen his face earlier that day, he followed us, we went to where we were sitting. I know his face, he was there, I know it’s him,” she said.

She said the perpetrator tried to flirt with her earlier in the day and introduced himself as “Mzi”. She insisted in court that she knew it was Mzingeli when the attack happened, and had told people close to her that it was him.

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She was further questioned about why she did not open a case at the police station after the attack. She said that she was badly injured and could not walk to the police station immediately, but assumed the police were already investigating.

She further told the court that after they found out that Mzingeli had fled from his address in Siyahlala informal settlement, she thought pursuing the matter was useless because suspects often go missing and are never found.

READ MORE: Rape survivor says her attack was a slaughter: ‘He stabbed me in my back before he stabbed me in my stomach’

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