RAG­ING ON Ap­peal court frees man serv­ing life

RAPE, KID­NAP­PING CHARGES WERE FALSE High court rules girl­friend’s ver­sion was so con­tra­dic­tory and un­likely it should have been re­jected.

The Citizen (KZN) - - NEWS - Ilse de Lange ils­edl@cit­i­zen.co.za

ABenoni man, who was sen­tenced to life in jail af­ter his girl­friend falsely ac­cused him of rape and kid­nap­ping, is a free man af­ter two judges of the High Court in Pre­to­ria ac­quit­ted him on ap­peal.

The high court set aside the con­vic­tion and sen­tences of life and two years’ im­pris­on­ment that a Benoni Mag­is­trate had im­posed on Nxebo Mapone.

His girl­friend had claimed Mapone ac­costed her on her way to work and dragged her by the wrist for more than a kilo­me­tre to his home, where he forcibly raped her three times.

She said she had feared for her life as he had kicked her in the stom­ach and slapped her and she even­tu­ally sent a text mes­sage to her new boyfriend, a police con­sta­ble, say­ing she was at Mapone’s house, was dy­ing and ask­ing for help. She said he ran away when her boyfriend and a com­mu­nity mem­ber ar­rived.

Mapone de­nied rap­ing her. He said they were still in a re­la­tion­ship and his girl­friend, who was very jeal­ous, came to his home that morn­ing think­ing she would find him with another woman.

Then she phoned her aunt to say she was not go­ing to work, got un­dressed, joined him in bed, talked about their re­la­tion­ship and they ended up be­ing in­ti­mate. Then they had a meal and watched a movie on tele­vi­sion.

Mapone said his girl­friend was star­tled when there was an ag­gres­sive knock on the door. She apol­o­gised to her new boyfriend, who wanted to know why she was there. Mapone said the police did not come to his house and he was only ar­rested a month later.

The high court ruled that the girl­friend’s ver­sion was so con­tra­dic­tory and un­likely that it should have been re­jected. She had many chances to es­cape, but did not and never pro­duced the text mes­sage she claimed she sent to her new boyfriend. –

Pic­ture: AFP

Fire­fight­ers work to ex­tin­guish the Thomas Fire as it burns past the 101 High­way in Ven­tura, Cal­i­for­nia, yes­ter­day. See page 17.

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