Pinetown ‘grandpa’ accused of raping young boys accuses son of framing him
Sipho Mfene had pleaded not guilty to 11 counts of rape and six of compelled rape at the start of the trial last month. Mfene’s alleged victims were all boys - two are brothers and two of the nine boys are his relatives.
On Tuesday, the defence closed its case and Mfene’s matter was adjourned for final arguments and judgment on November 1.
The first rape allegedly occurred in 2015 when the victim was seven years old.
Mfene also allegedly forced some of the boys to perform sexual acts on each other, leading to the compelled rape charges.
The children and Mfene are all from the same community in St Wendolin’s, where he was known to his victims as “mkhulu” (grandpa).
Testifying yesterday, Mfene admitted to knowing the victims but denied all the allegations against him.
He told the court it was fabrications created by his son, Sanele, with whom he did not get along. He testified that Sanele had been living with his mother on the South Coast before he came to live with him.
Mfene claimed Sanele had told him he had murdered two boys on the South Coast and as a result his home was torched.
“He wants my house so he can collect his mother to come live there because she has nowhere to stay.”
Mfene said he had told Sanele to get his act together and get a job.
“He said he did not see a reason to do so because I was providing for him with my pension money. He walked out the house and later in the afternoon, when he came back, he stood with his hands on the door frame above his head and told me that tonight I was not going to sleep at home but at the police station.”
During the trial, the court had heard that Sanele had disappeared and still could not be found.
“You say he wanted your house, so why would he disappear after that? It doesn’t make sense for Sanele to frame you when you provide for him with your pension money,” said the magistrate.
During cross examination, prosecutor Simphiwe Dube put it to Mfene that if Sanele had framed him, Sanele would have been among the state witnesses who testified against him.
“He is the only witness who did not come to testify in court,” she said.
Mfene denied raping the victims.
He is in police custody.