December 07 2009 at 07:25AM
By Botho Molosankwe
Three foreigners decided not kill a white Zimbabwean woman they had just raped, assaulted, robbed and kidnapped because she was not South African.
The three men told the woman that they were also from Zimbabwe and would therefore not kill her because she was their "sister".
"We only kill white South Africans," the then 39-year-old Denise Pollard* was told.
At the time of the attack, she had been living in South Africa for six years.
The men, however, are from Mozambique and at the time that they attacked Pollard, one of them - Andries Simango, 25 - had a month earlier robbed and hacked a woman to death in her flat in Haddon in Joburg's southern suburbs. He was also in the country illegally.
On Friday, Simango, who is serving a life sentence and an additional 20 years for the Haddon crime, was, along with Nelson Abdul, 25, and June Immanuel, 34, found guilty of the rape, kidnapping and robbery of Pollard. They each received 15 years for robbery, a life sentence each for the rape and an additional five years each for kidnapping.
On July 7, 2006, the three broke into Pollard's Fourways townhouse, where she was sleeping. She was awoken by her small dog barking when three men rushed into her bedroom.
One held his hand over her mouth while another held a gun against her body. They asked her where the money was and ransacked her drawers. The gang found R200 and a cellphone.
Immanuel slid his hands under Pollard's nightie, found that she was not wearing any underwear.
Pollard begged the men not to rape her, but her pleas fell on deaf ears. She was struck on the face and then Abdul and Immanuel raped her.
During the rapes, Simango held a gun to her head, and her arms were also held down. At some point the men threatened to kill her dog. When the men were finished raping her, they took her to the garage and insisted that she drive them out of the complex, which had security guards.
Abdul is said to have been aggressive and ordered that Pollard be killed. But her life was spared when the men realised that she was from Zimbabwe, and her driving licence proved that.
In their defence, the men said Pollard was a prostitute they had picked up at a nightclub in town, and that she had taken them home for consensual sex in exchange for drugs.
In handing down judgment, magistrate George Andrews said Pollard was an excellent witness who was eloquent and whose evidence was clear despite her ordeal.
He rejected the evidence of the accused and said it was false and improbable.
* Not her real name
This article was originally published on page 2 of The Star on December 07, 2009