A week after a grandmother was raped while hitch-hiking she was offered a lift by a couple who also picked up up her hitch-hiking rapist down the road
Pretoria – Fate had a hand in the events that followed the rape of a grandmother while en route to organise the funeral of one of her grandchildren.
The man who raped her disappeared from the radar, and the woman did not go to the police station to report it.
Her argument was that she did not know the man, who was young enough to be her grandson, and could thus not identify him to the police.
But eight days later, the woman – in her 60s – hitch-hiked, and a couple gave her a lift. A few kilometres down the road, another person also hitch-hiked and the couple stopped to give him a lift. When he got into the car, the woman recognised 25-year-old Pelican Kubeka as her rapist.
She burst into tears and told the good Samaritans who had given them the lift that he had raped her. They then drove to the nearest police station, where they handed him over.
Upon seeing Kubeka, the police responded: “We have been looking for you for a long time.”
Kubeka was convicted of rape in the eMalahleni Magistrate’s Court and sentenced to 10 years in jail.
He, however, appealed against his conviction and sentence in the high court in
Pretoria, and said the widow and mother of seven children had begged him to have sex with her.
According to Kubeka, she even produced a condom, which she handed to him. The granny, in return, said she hadn’t had sex for many years and the rape had left her with lasting physical ailments, including incontinence.
She told the court that in June 2015, she and Kubeka, who she had never seen before, were waiting for a lift at a spot in eMalahleni.
They could not secure a lift and Kubeka suggested they move to another spot. He led her through some bushes and suddenly told her he wanted to have sex with her.
She scolded him that he was young enough to be her grandson. But this did not deter him, and he overpowered and raped her.
The victim explained that she was grieving for her dead grandson at the time and she was very busy with his funeral arrangements. This and the fact that she could not identify her rapist caused her not to go to the police.
Judge Wendy Hughes remarked that the manner in which the incident eventually got reported was ironic.
“While travelling, they gave a lift to the male hiker. Guess who? None other than the appellant himself,” the judge pointed out.
The court accepted the woman’s evidence. And Kubeka’s appeal was subsequently turned down.