Af­flu­ence year

Saturday Star - - FRONT PAGE - SHAIN GERMANER [email protected] Adam Cum­mings

A HIGH-RANK­ING Ekurhu­leni metro cop, Adam Cum­mings, spent more than a decade sex­u­ally groom­ing a friend of his in­fant son.

Af­ter rap­ing her on mul­ti­ple oc­ca­sions, he even­tu­ally black­mailed her into finding other chil­dren and teenagers to sex­u­ally as­sault.

These are the claims of the now 24-year-old woman, who is charged along­side Cum­mings with the rape and traf­fick­ing of two teenagers and a nineyear-old girl.

Cum­mings, a for­mer su­per­in­ten­dent in the se­cu­rity divi­sion at the Ekurhu­leni Metro Po­lice Depart­ment (EMPD), and Te­bogo Jo­hanna Maregele are cur­rently on trial at the High Court in Joburg.

The State has claimed the pair kid­napped their tar­gets from Soweto and took them to se­cluded ar­eas to al­low Cum­mings to rape them be­fore try­ing to buy their si­lence.

The State re­vealed this week that the in­ves­ti­gat­ing of­fi­cer Mantsha Raph­esu took a state­ment from Maregele af­ter she was ar­rested in 2015.

The lengthy state­ment re­vealed that Maregele was eight when she first met the su­per­in­ten­dent in 2004, be­cause she had be­come friendly with his mis­tress and young son.

In much the same way as his fu­ture vic­tims al­leged, Cum­mings took Maregele to an aban­doned area and forced her to have in­ter­course, be­fore telling her that she had to keep the in­ci­dent a se­cret. Even af­ter she moved from Tem­bisa to Sed­ibeng, she stayed in com­mu­ni­ca­tion with Cum­mings, who she claims raped her again on two sep­a­rate oc­ca­sions in 2007.

When she moved to her mother in Soweto in 2009 when she was 15, she claimed they again had in­ter­course, a pat­tern that con­tin­ued un­til she was 18.

It was at this time that Cum­mings re­cruited her to find teenagers or chil­dren that he could rape, a propo­si­tion to which she agreed.

The state­ment de­tails the in­ci­dents where she found the vic­tims of the cur­rent crim­i­nal trial, as well as al­leged sex­ual in­ci­dents with other teenagers. When Cum­mings be­came sus­pi­cious that Maregele would speak to the po­lice about the rapes, he asked her to send an in­crim­i­nat­ing pic­ture that he used to black­mail her into si­lence.

When the state­ment was writ­ten, Maregele claimed she had wit­nessed Cum­mings beat­ing some­one and that she feared for her own life. Raph­esu took to the stand to ex­plain that he had tried to get Maregele into a wit­ness pro­tec­tion pro­gramme af­ter both of her legs were bro­ken in cus­tody.

He said she re­vealed she was be­ing threat­ened by Cum­mings fol­low­ing their ar­rests, and ul­ti­mately re­fused to en­ter wit­ness pro­tec­tion.

It’s un­der­stood the young woman also re­fused to take a plea bar­gain to tes­tify against her co-ac­cused, and has also cho­sen not to take the stand as part of her de­fence case.

Cum­mings took the stand on Wed­nes­day, deny­ing the rape in­ci­dents with the 15-year-old and nine-year-old vic­tims.

How­ever, he did ad­mit to an ex­tra­mar­i­tal af­fair with the 16-year-old vic­tim, say­ing they had en­tered into a sex­ual re­la­tion­ship the year be­fore the al­leged in­ci­dent.

He also con­firmed that he had been fired from the EMPD, af­ter he was sus­pended ear­lier this year. He has claimed that he was a fa­ther fig­ure to his co-ac­cused, and would not say if his re­la­tion­ship ever evolved into any­thing fur­ther.

The trial con­tin­ues.

KIM HONG-JI Reuters

KOREAN scuba divers dressed up as Santa Claus and Rudolph the Red-nosed Rein­deer plunge into a tank full of sar­dines dur­ing a pro­mo­tional event for Christ­mas in Seoul, South Korea. |Metro cop ‘groomed’ vic­tim

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