June 28, 2011

SOUTH AFRICA: Widow, 80, relives rape by intruder

PRETORIA, Gauteng / Pretoria News / June 28, 2011

She begged their attackers not to kill her husband while they were trying to strangle him with her jersey and she was throttled and repeatedly punched in the face while one of the intruders raped her.
This was the testimony of an 80-year-old woman on Monday in the Pretoria High Court. The dignified and composed woman pointed out her rapist in court, as being accused number one, Vincent Ramatsoma, 34, of Mamelodi East.
He has admitted to the rape. He said in his explanation of plea that he did have sex with the elderly woman on April 26, 2008, and that it was his intention to rape her. He is facing six charges, including murder, rape, robbery and various charges of contravening the arms and ammunition act, together with his two co-accused, Tshepo Bigboy Sekele, 28 and Ben Mmapeya, 26, also of Mamelodi East.

Apart from Ramatsoma admitting to the rape, all three pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Reliving the events of that night, the woman (who cannot be identified as she is a rape victim) told Judge Bert Bam that she was in the kitchen at about nine, washing dishes.

She thought she had locked the kitchen door, but it later appeared it was not properly secured. She meanwhile went to join her husband in the lounge, where he was watching television.

“The next moment I saw three men. One pushed me down on my chair and the other two went to my husband.  I was forced to take off my blouse and jersey while one of the intruders tried to throttle me. I was pushed down on the floor and the other two tried to throttle my husband with my jersey. I kept on asking them in Zulu not to hurt my husband.”

The victim said one of the men tried to drag her towards the bedroom, but she said she would walk. He then led her towards the bedroom. One of the other intruders then came to the bedroom with an iron and some rope.

“He shouted at me that I am a boer and that he was going to burn me and kill me. He swore at me and swore at my dead mother, using the most terrible language. I asked him whether he had a mother and a grandmother, but he just laughed at me. He then told me to lie on the ground, but I refused. He pushed me on the bed and pulled off my clothes, before he raped me. While raping me, he throttled me and repeatedly bashed me in the face with his fist until I could no longer see through my eyes. He threw my clothes at me afterwards and told me to get dressed.”

The victim said she was taken to the main bedroom, where she saw her husband was tied to a chair. The room was in disarray and the intruders climbed on top of her husband on the chair, to get to the top of the cupboard. They also emptied the safe of its firearms and took out her husband’s hunting knife.

“One of them tried to intimidate me by showing me the sharp blade.”

They took her husband outside and tried to force him to get his car started, but it had a battery problem.
When it did not start, they came to the woman to help them. She said she advised them to push the car until it started.

“I again asked them not to kill my husband. They said they would not and that they would tie him on the bed with me, which they did before they left.”

The woman said her husband had blood coming out of his ear and his mouth. Apart from his broken dentures, it seemed he had not suffered any other injuries.

But as the weeks went by, he became more and more disorientated and it was eventually established that he had blood on the brain. He died three months later.

The woman said her husband never recovered from the bad feeling arising from the fact that he had taught women self defence during his life, but that he could do nothing to protect her that day.

The case is proceeding.

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