File picture: Lindi Masinga/ANA

Soweto - The defence has claimed that hatred and threats to the life of a Soweto primary school's principal is why Johannes Molefe is being accused of heinous rapes and other sexual assault on 13 girls aged between 5 and 13.

This was the contention made Molefe's Advocate Lumka Qoqo, who said that the accused had informed her that teachers at the school were divided and didn't want security at the school. 

According to the defence, Molefe was framed in order for the school's security to be relaxed and for those who supposedly want to harm the principal, Ndungu Mthimkhulu, to have easy access to her.

On Monday at the South Gauteng High Court sitting in the Palmridge Magistrate's Court, Mthimkhulu testified that there were "tensions" at the school because a faction of teachers resented her and wanted the old headmaster to return. 

Mthimkhulu said she arrived at the school in March last year.

The principal is a State witness against Molefe, who is the former patroller at the school and is facing three rape counts and 11 of sexual assault. 

The defence advocate also challenged a list which was compiled at the school in September last year, where 54 names were submitted of girls who claimed had been sexually abused by Molefe.

Challenging that list, Advocate Qoqo mentioned a name of a girl, who was number 43 on the document, who said that the teachers had made a mistake by putting her name on the list ad she had never been violated by Mkhulu, or grandfather, a name the schoolchildren used in reference to Molefe. 

The child who said teachers had mistakenly put her name on the list detailed this in a sworn statement to police.

The defence emphasised that the girl's withdrawal from the list showed that there were ulterior motives in compiling it.

"I'm going to argue that this list was compiled randomly. I will further say that there was fishing (for) complainants," Qoqo asserted.

The list, according to the principal, was conducted by junior teachers at the school, and Mthimkhulu said she was not part of its compilation. 

Molefe has pleaded not guilty to all charges against him. 

The trial continues on Tuesday.

khaya.k[email protected] 

The Star