June 07 2006 at 05:10AM
One of the five men accused of raping a Belgian exchange student was surprised to see a white person attending a street party in a township.
Sibusiso Mkhize had then indicated to his friends his desire to have her as his girfriend. But his friends laughed off the suggestion.
This was moments before the complainant was allegedly kidnapped by 20-year-old Mkhize, together with fellow co-accused Mandla Dlamini. The girl, who was 17 years old at the time, was allegedly then taken to a nearby house, where she was gang-raped.
These events leading to the incident of August 13 last year in Mapetla, Soweto, were related to the Johannesburg High Court on Tuesday by Mkhize's friend Joseph Ledwaba.
Mkhize, Wandile Dondolo, 25, Moeketsi Mokoena, 25, and Xolani Letuke, 24, all of Mapetla, and Dlamini, 25, of Thokoza in Ekurhuleni, have pleaded not guilty to charges of kidnapping, aggravated robbery and rape. All the accused, with the exception of Letuke, have offered no plea explanations.
In his plea explanation, Letuke, who is linked to the offence through DNA, stated that he had consensual sex with the girl.
Earlier, Inspector Vuyelwa Malange testified that she arrived at the scene in the company of her colleagues. On their arrival, the lights in the house were off and some of her colleagues had stormed the house and came out with three men and the complainant.
The trial continues.
This article was originally published on page 2 of The Star on June 07, 2006