Ricochet News

Zimbabwean man accused of rape and murder fears for his safety

By Afikile Lugunya - Jun 14, 2018
Zimbabwean man accused of rape and murder fears for his safety

It was another day of drama as the trial of a Zimbabwean man, Trust Tofa, proceeded in the Port Elizabeth High Court.

Tofa, who faces six charges, including two sexual offences, made a request to Judge Jannie Ekseen for the press to stop taking his photos on Wednesday. 

He also told the Judge that recently a gun was found in the prison cells at the St Albans Correctional Facility where he is being held, therefore he is worried about his safety.

Judge Eksteen ruled that from Thursday, Tofa will be allowed to enter the courtroom after the judge has entered so as to prevent the press from taking photos of him in the dock.

But, Judge Eksteen also explained to Tofa the right for the press to take pictures so that they can report on the process of justice as it happens int the courtroom.

While he was explaining, he was interrupted by Tofa.

"Wait for me to speak.

"If you are saying that the press has a right to take pictures. Are you saying that it's okay for me to be killed in prison?" he asked.

Judge Eksteen said that "The Department of Correctional Services has an obligation to protect prisoners." 

Tofa agreed with Judge Eksteen, but added that, however, prison warders won't be with them inside the prison cells.

At Wednesday's hearing, Tofa's lawyer grilled the State's witness, who also happened to be Tofa's ex-girlfriend.

The woman cannot be named.

He made retell the story that she narrated on the stand on Tuesday about what happened on that fateful day in November 2016.

During cross-examination, it also emerged that she could have been drunk on the day Tofa attacked her and her late boyfriend. 

The trial continues...