The trial of the man who is accused of raping and murdering 11-year-old Relebogile Segami, Itumeleng Machabe, was postponed until February 19, 2024, in the Northern Cape High Court.
THE TRIAL of the man who is accused of raping and murdering 11-year-old Relebogile Segami was postponed until February 19, 2024, in the Northern Cape High Court.
Itumeleng Machabe is facing 19 charges, ranging from murder, attempted murder, rape, fraud, crimen injuria, attempted extortion and child pornography.
The trial, which started on October 11 this year, was postponed after the court heard the testimonies of the fraud and child pornograpy victims, who were 15 years old at the time of the incidents.
The trial was postponed due to the ill-health of the senior State prosecutor, Adele van Heerden.
Her junior, Elmarie Kruger, has been standing in for her.
Earlier, one of the 15-year-old victims told the court about how she had to relocate to another town after her life was “destroyed” due to her identity being stolen and misused.
The State alleges that Machabe pretended to be an underage lesbian girl by the name of “Monna Lisa Femme” and became friends with the complainant.
“Monna” allegedly sent the complainant a photo of a minor girl and told the complainant that she was a learner at Christian Brothers College in Kimberley.
Monna then requested the complainant to send her nude pictures of herself, and she did the same.
The complainant sent Monna nude photos of herself.
The exchange of pictures took place on Facebook Messenger.
After receiving the complainant’s photos, Monna then sent her nude pictures of an unknown minor girl.
Femme then requested the complainant to send her nude pictures of her (the complainant) inserting her fingers into her vagina.
The complainant refused and blocked Monna on her Facebook page.
When the complainant later went onto Facebook, she discovered that a Facebook account had been created under the name “Prudess Femme Ivy” and was displaying a profile picture of the complainant.
The complainant sent a message on this Facebook page, via Facebook Messenger, asking Monna why she had created this fake Facebook account that was using her picture.
Monna responded that it was because the complainant had refused to act on her request.
The State alleges that Machabe was the person posing as Prudess Femme Ivy.
It is further alleged that the accused used this Facebook account to invite friends, claiming to be a gay underage girl and asking for nude pictures.
Another Kimberley girl received a friend request from Prudess Femme Ivy, who was pretending to be a gay Grade 10 learner from Kimberley Technical High School known as “Ivy”.
Ivy requested nude pictures from the girl, who is complainant 2 in the trial.
Ivy then sent pictures of a girl in a Technical High School uniform, claiming that this was her.
These were in fact pictures of another victim, which she had received in March.
Ivy suggested to complainant 2 that they play a game on Facebook Messenger.
They exchanged pictures of their bare breasts.
Ivy then requested more nude pictures, but complainant 2 was hesitant to use Facebook Messenger for this purpose and they exchanged WhatsApp numbers.
Complainant 2 then received a message from Ivy, asking for more nude pictures.
The complainant refused, saying that she was on her period.
A few days later, the complainant established that the nude photos that she had sent to Ivy were trending on the open platform of Facebook.
The State alleges that Machabe posted the photos of the complainant on Facebook.
The first complainant told the court that Monna promised that she could be trusted and that the pictures were safe with her.
She said she did not expect Monna to leak the pictures because she had sent nude pictures of “herself”.
She told the court that she would not have exchanged nude pictures with Monna if she knew that “she” was in fact an adult male.
“I thought Monna was real and knew that she wouldn’t want her naked pictures to be exposed and thus will not do that to mine,” she said.
She added that her picture was used as a Facebook profile for Femme Ivy, who also distributed her naked photos online.
She said she learned about the account at school after a fellow learner told her that she was trending as the person who shared her naked pictures and lured other girls to do the same, then shared them on social media.
She said her mother confronted some of the girls, explaining to them that her daughter was not the one responsible for the account.
She told the court that the incident has destroyed her reputation and some learners did not want to talk to her at school and she lost her friends.
She also said she could no longer concentrate at school because she had become the topic of conversation at school and her friends had turned on her.
She said “things calmed down a little bit” until an angry mother contacted her mother.
“They then requested that we go to the police station in Kimberley because the mother was angry and worried about her daughter.
“Upon arrival at the police station, the police took my statement and engaged me regarding what had happened and gave me and my mom some privacy in order for me to apologise about exchanging naked pictures with other girls.”
She said her cellphone was seized for further investigation.
She said she felt hurt, embarrassed and disappointed in herself, She was also hurt that she was a victim and yet the community felt that she was the perpetrator.
She added that at least the police understood.
She said she was also angry that her identity had been stolen in order to harm other people.
“If he came as himself, as a male, and requested to be my friend, I would have accepted his friend request, but wouldn’t have sent him naked pictures.”
In response to whether she would give her phone to a friend, boyfriend or another person with access to all her social media accounts, she said, “no”.
She elaborated that she shares personal information with her friends and could not risk that being exposed and used against her.