A 28-year-old man pleaded not guilty in the Port Elizabeth High Court, to raping two students from the Nelson Mandela University. Picture: Raahil Sain/ANA

Port Elizabeth - A 28-year-old man pleaded not guilty in the Port Elizabeth High Court on Tuesday, to raping two students from the Nelson Mandela University.

According to the State, in October last year, the two women who were studying at the university at the time, boarded a taxi along University Way in Summerstrand. The alleged rapist, who was also their taxi driver, forced the students to stay in the vehicle allegedly against their will.

The trial against Kwanele Nogodama, 28, got underway on Tuesday when he pleaded not guilty to charges which included rape, kidnapping, robbery with aggravating circumstances and the pointing of anything which is likely to lead a person to believe it is a firearm.

In his plea explanation read out in court, Nogodama cited that he had sexual intercourse with consent from both women. He further denied kidnapping the students, robbing them of their cellphones and pointing anything that resembled a firearm.

The State contends that at the time of the incident, the alleged rapist forced the women to stay in his taxi and drove off to a dark place where he pointed an object resembling a firearm at the students.

According to the indictment, he demanded money, their cellphones and then drove off in the direction of Kwazakele. The man then allegedly parked off in a dark area, pointed an object in their direction, seemingly a firearm, and demanded the women remove their clothing. According to the State, the alleged perpetrator then proceeded to rape one of the students.

The indictment reads that he then drove off in the direction of town but then changed direction and drove towards the township.

"[He] stopped the vehicle in front of a RDP house and forced the complainants into a shack at the back of the house," court papers cite.

He allegedly proceeded to rape the second student, and then raped the first student again, before pointing what appeared to look like a firearm at her.

The State alleges that the following morning he accompanied the students to a bus stop, and they then proceeded to report the incident to police.

The first State witness was called to testify at court on Tuesday and proceedings were held in camera.

The trial continues.