The mother of a then 13-year-old girl from Club 2000 testified in court about the day her daughter was allegedly raped by Itumeleng Machabe, the murder and rape accused who is currently facing 19 charges in the Northern Cape High Court.
THE MOTHER of a then 13-year-old girl from Club 2000 in Kimberley testified in court about the day her daughter was allegedly raped by Itumeleng Machabe, the murder and rape accused who is currently facing 19 charges in the Northern Cape High Court.
Machabe is accused of raping and killing 11-year-old Relebogile Segami, as well as raping a then 15-year-old girl during a separate incident.
Among the 19 charges he faces are murder, attempted murder, rape, fraud, crimen injuria, attempted extortion and child pornography.
The 53-year-old mother told the court that her daughter was allegedly raped by Machabe, who was an acquaintance, near Kagisho, Galeshewe, on July 13, 2013, when she was 13 years old.
She said they opened a rape case with the police, but withdrew the charges two years later because there was no progress on the case and because it was taking a toll on her daughter.
She told the court that on the day of the alleged incident, it was around 10pm and her daughter had not returned home yet, so she decided to go and look for her.
She said she first stood at the gate and looked up and down the street with the hope of spotting her daughter, but she was nowhere to be seen and there was no one in the street.
She then decided to walk down Nobengula Street in Club 2000, with the intention to go and look for her daughter at The Juke Box.
As she was heading towards The Juke Box, she saw someone approaching her from the direction of Kagisho.
“I recognised her but called out her name to make sure that it was indeed my daughter. My daughter was holding her right hand on her forehead as if she was crying. She responded by saying ‘mama’.
“When she arrived near the corner where I was standing, she just ran past me in the direction of home.
“The back of her hair was covered in grass, as well as the back of her clothes.
“She was walk-running home and I just followed her because there was no other person in the quiet street.”
The mother said she arrived home to find her crying daughter standing outside the house next to the locked door waiting for her.
She told the court that, upon entering the house, she asked her daughter what had happened, but her daughter was just crying.
“I sat on the couch and waited for her to calm down. After a while, she told me that Itumeleng had raped her.
“I was shocked because I knew Itumeleng, as he had grown up in front of me in the neighbourhood.
“I asked my daughter where it happened and when.
“She said she was at the tuck shop, listening to music at The Juke Box, when Itumeleng arrived. He asked her to accompany him to go and fetch his cellphone.
“She told him that she was listening to the music and he promised her that they will return.”
The mother said she asked her daughter why she decided to accompany a male to go and fetch a phone.
“She said she accompanied Itumeleng because she knew him and trusted him as they stayed in the same street.
“She said that while they were on their way, Itumeleng suggested that they divert from the road to walk on the walls of Kagisho dam.
“According to her, Itumeleng said it was in order for them to reach their destination faster.
“She said that as they arrived at the end of the bridge wall, Itumeleng changed his story and dragged her into the veld.
“He threw her to the ground and raped her.”
The mother said she was pained by what her daughter was telling her and she also started crying.
She told her daughter that they have to go to the police station in order to open a rape case.
“I suggested to her that we stand in Nobengula Street next to the road in case we spot a patrolling police vehicle passing by. It was already too late for us to find a taxi.
“By God’s grace, a police vehicle came down the street and I flagged it down.”
She said the police took them to the police station to open a case and transported them to and from the hospital.
The mother told the court that it was a difficult decision to later withdraw the rape charges.
“The problem is, the child was still at school and was missing out on her school work due to continuous court appearances. The case was constantly postponed after the child had already missed a school day.
“The sad part was that the child was also under-performing, to the extent that she failed twice. She was always crying when we went to court.
“The teachers were also starting to get concerned about her poor attendance.
“We, as her parents, agreed with her when she decided to drop the charges because it was traumatising her and she said it was too painful.”
The trial continues.