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Rape and murder trial of Zimbabwean man resumes in PE High Court

By Afikile Lugunya - Jun 25, 2018
Rape and murder trial of Zimbabwean man resumes in PE High Court

The trial of a Zimbabwean man, who allegedly raped his ex-girlfriend and brutally murdered her boyfriend resumed in the Port Elizabeth High Court on Monday.

Last week, the court heard how a State witness, Sakhumzi Marobobo, also known as Ta-Beyla and is a cousin brother to the victim, roamed the streets of Motherwell looking for the victim after she had been kidnapped by the accused, 30-year-old Trust Tofa.

It is the State's case that in November 2016, Tofa went to his ex-girlfriend's home in Motherwell, Port Elizabeth, armed with an iron rod and a knife and allegedly kicked down her front door.

He allegedly then assaulted her together with her new boyfriend, Godfrey Kumire, whom he brutally assaulted with the iron rod.

Tofa apparently stabbed the woman's sister after she threw boiling water at him in a bid to stop his attack. He then dragged his ex-girlfriend to a house where he allegedly raped her twice.

Kumire died from injuries sustained during the brutal assault.

Tofa was arrested for murder, housebreaking, assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, kidnapping and rape.

Ta-Beyla said that in the night between the 17th and 18th November 2016, he was awakened and informed about the kidnapping of his cousin sister, who cannot be named.

“I didn’t understand the seriousness of what I was informed, until 08:00 in the morning when I saw that she was not coming back.”

Ta-Beyla told the court that he decided to go look for her where Tofa was working as a builder in Shukushukuma.

“I didn’t find him, so I left my number instead,” he described.

“On my way back to my flat, I saw a Zimbabwean guy and told him that Tofa had kidnapped my sister and I am looking for him and my sister.”

Ta-Beyla said that later that day, he heard that Kumire died, which is when the other Zimbabweans started looking for Tofa as well.

He described how they found Tofa on top of his cousin sister and ordered them to get dressed, while also informing the accused that they would take him to the police station.

He said that the victim kept thanking him for finding her and “saving her from Chillies” (Tofa's nickname).

“He agreed to get dressed, but refused to go to the police station with us, instead he took out two bottles of Reds that were under the bed and threatened to hit us with them," Ta-Beyla told the court.

“We ran outside and the Zimbabwean guys, who had accompanied me, picked up stones and bricks which they threw at Tofa.”

He said that they then went to report the matter at the Motherwell police station.

“My sister had marks on her body; her face was swollen and her hand was bleeding.”

Ta-Beyla said that he also noticed burned marks on Tofa’s body, while he was naked in the flat where he the rapes happened.

He said that he did not pressure the victim into opening a case at the station against Tofa, instead he told her; "It’s up to you, what you want to do."

Last week, the court also heard that Tofa had claimed that the police were starving him, forcing Defence attorney, Chris Nel, pleading to buy take aways for his client. 

However, the police revealed that Tofa was given food, but he gave it back referring to it as "sh#t" that he won't eat.

One of the court interpreters revealed that Tofa's ex-girlfriend had also alleged that the accused bit her in the arm during the attack, taking away some of her flesh, which he chewed and swallowed while making remarks of how nice her flesh was. 

However, that was not revealed in court while she was on the stand.

On Friday, when her exhaustive cross examination finally ended, the woman addressed Nel before leaving; "I hope what happened to me happens to your wife." 

On Monday, the State had also introduced the woman's doctor as a witness. 

The doctor confirmed that when he went to see her, she was bruised and her clothing had stains of blood.

He said that the victim was traumatised and crying at the time - and she had sustained physical injuries.

He also said that she was at the SAPS' Thuthuzela care centre - a place of safety for female victims in violent or sexual assault cases.

The Doctor said that while examining her, he discovered that her tissues contained a lot of semen.

On Thursday, Ta-Beyla said that after hearing of the attack he found Godfrey still laying at his sister's home helplessly.

When he uncovered him, as he was still covered with a blanket, his arms looked broken as well as his upper body and blood was coming out of his ears.

After about 15 minutes the police and the ambulance arrived, took Godfrey and they later heard that he had passed away.

Tofa, through his attorney, still insisted that acid was poured to his face when he entered the home of his ex-girlfriend.

He claims he fell down and found an iron rod in the, which he used to defend himself from Godfrey.

Tofa claimed that he was just blindly hitting everything as he could not see as the acid was in his eyes.

However, the woman told the court that Tofa was lying because Godfrey did not even get up when the attack began.

Tofa also alleged that he was the bread winner of the victim's entire family because the brother was not working and was under TB treatment.

Ta-Beyla confirmed that, indeed, he was under treatment, however there is no truth in what Tofa is saying because he didn't know him that well besides seeing him at a tavern.

The trial continues.