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'I was forced to rape the white lady at knifepoint' claims rapist

By Adriana Stuijt     Mar 4, 2009 in Crime
A 17-year-old state witness on Wednesday told the Durban High Court he was forced to rape local girl Jessica Foord at knifepoint. 'The only instruction I was given by accused one was to rape the white lady," the South African witness said.
The youth last year already had pleaded guilty to taking part in gang-raping Jessica Foord , now 22, and sentenced to 17 years jail - half in a juvenile facility. He cannot be named as he is a minor. see previous story here
The four accused men, Mbotho Msomi, 26, Lindani Maphumulo, 19, Ntuthuko Chili, 19, and Siyabonga Ntinga, 18, said listening attentively to the testimony. When the case was called before Judge Vivienne Niles-Duner on Monday the judge said that the court would be "in camera" - i.e. without any public present -- when Ms Foord testified unless she "specifically requests the presence in court of any person". It is believed that Ms Foord has indicated that she will allow the public to be present,
Ms Foord and her father decided to publicise their ordeal and she has become an inspiring motivational speaker, campaigning for better and more professional treatment of rape victims. All the public appearances of the arrested men, and the trial of the first convicted rapist, were attended by a large number of supporters, who are organised through Ms Foord's Facebook website. see
Forced to rape her:
"I was afraid,' testified the convicted rapist yesterday. "He told me not to mention that as long as I was in the police station," the witness said. A short while later during cross examination, he contradicted himself saying: "He had pointed a firearm at me".
Lawyer for unnamed accused one, Deen Govender pounced on the statement and asked: "First you say he pointed a knife at you, then you say it was a firearm... which is it?" The witness said he had made a mistake and that it was in fact a knife.
On March 2 last year, Ms Foord, then aged 21, and her dad Tim were walking their dogs at the Polo Pony Dam in Hillcrest near Durban when five men brandishing knives and guns confronted them. Foord was repeatedly raped, allegedly by four of the five men, while her father, who was tied to a tree by a fifth assailant, was forced to watch .Stolen jewellery, cellphones and a wallet were recovered by police during their arrest. The gang fled in Tim Foord 's Isuzu farm truck and were later caught by police.
On the day in question, the witness said, he and the four co-accused men had seen the victims pass them on a road to the dam. They were later seen "exercising their dogs". The witness said he and his accomplices had gone to the dam to fish. While fishing, accused one left and returned with a wallet and a cellphone he had taken from the back of Tim's bakkie. "Then we went to the dam to rob them," he said.
Asked who pointed the firearm at the victims, the witness said he could not remember. He said they then took jewellery and cellphones from the pair, before pushing them into a ditch.
"We then grabbed the female and made her lie down... on a rock." At that stage, Tim Foord had been tied to a tree with a rope. It was then that Jessica Foord was raped.
"When I finished, the next one started... then the third one started... then the fourth one commenced."
He said he was unable to recall the order in which they raped her.
During cross-examination by Nirrad Manilal, lawyer for the accused four men, the witness was asked whether anyone had given them instructions during the crime.'The only instruction I was given by accused one was to rape the white lady," the South African witness said.
Afterwards, her hands were tied and the group left. He said Ntinga had not raped Foord and instead took Tim's bakkie keys and went to the vehicle. When the group reached the bakkie, Ntinga was inside and starting it.
Govender argued that the witness and Ntinga shared the same surname and the same grandmother.
"I call his grandmother 'gogo' out of respect, but she is not my grandmother," said the 17-year-old.
Ntinga's attorney Farhana Azeez said: "Accused three instructs me that he is related to you... that your are family and that you and he are cousins". The witness replied: "We are not related."
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