Monday, 18 October 2004

Benoni family trial: accused admits to rape

Baldwin Ndaba

October 16 2004 at 01:53PM

A Johannesburg man admitted he raped a 53-year-old woman and was part of a gang which dumped her body and those of her three family members in the veld.

"I raped Georgina van der Merwe after hearing Clement Makua was busy raping her daughter-in-law in another bedroom."

Themba Radebe was testifying in the Secunda High Court about the day they held four family members hostage in their house in Benoni on February 8 this year.

Radebe, 44, of KwaThema, Springs, stands accused along with Vincent Khubeka, 22, Lucky Peter Mbalati, 20, of Hillbrow and Clement Boy-Boy Makua, 24, on two counts of robbery with aggravating circumstances, four of attempted murder, four of rape, four of abduction, four of murder, two counts of theft and two counts of illegal possession of firearms and ammunition.

The charges following the abduction of Frans van der Merwe, 57, his wife Georgina, 53, their son Darryl, 31, and his 24-year-old wife Melissa from their homes in Benoni on February 8 this year. Their bodies were found near Loskop Dam Resort in Mpumalanga - 200km away - a day later.

On Friday, Radebe supported a confession he made to a Benoni magistrate, where he admitted to raping Georgina and transporting all four victims to Loskop Dam Resort where they were killed execution style. Radebe said they held their victims hostage for 12 hours in Darryl's house.

Giving the rape and murder details, Radebe said: "We were at that house on Saturday after hearing from Vincent (Khubeka) that his boss (Darryl) was selling a car. Clement and Vincent talked to Darryl and promised to purchase the car the next day.

"We returned to the house the next day and while Darryl showed us a boxing brochure, Clement pulled out a gun and pointed it at Darryl. At that time, Vincent was holding his wife hostage with a screw-driver. Vincent then ordered me to follow Clement's instructions, failing which I would also die," Radebe said.

He said Makua demanded cash from Darryl who told him the location of his safes in the bedroom. Radebe said they found R3 500 cash in one safe and a pistol and a rifle in another. He said his gang was not happy with the cash and demanded Darryl summon his parents to his house.

On their arrival, the pair was also held hostage. The court also heard how they were fed coffee poisoned with Rattex or muti "to sleep quickly".

"While I was guarding Darryl and his parents with their hands bound with ties Vincent came to me and said Clement was busy raping Darryl's wife.

"Minutes later, Lucky (Mbalati) came and pointed the rifle at me and said I should rape Darryl's mother. He ordered her out of the room and told me to follow her. He then ordered me to rape her or face the consequences. I then raped her," Radebe said.

He only admitted to the rape and said Makua and Mbalati shot and killed all four victims near Loskop Dam Resort.

DNA results linked Radebe to rape.

However, Makua and Mbalati disputed the major part of his confession.

Khubeka pleaded guilty on charges of robbery and theft, while Makua and Mbalati claimed an alibi in spite of the fact that Judge Nico Coetzee admitted all evidence against them after a trial within a trial on Friday after Radebe, Mbalati and Makua alleged that police had tortured them. Judgment is expected on Monday.

This article was originally published on page 9 of The Star on October 16, 2004

Source: IOL

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