JUDGMENT is expected to be handed down in the trial of a man who has been charged with raping a severely mentally disabled woman with the intellectual capacity of a fouryear-old child.
The trial got under way last week in the Port Elizabeth High Court and the accused, Nathan Fourie, 28, pleaded not guilty to the charges, which include rape and assault.
In closing arguments on Friday, state advocate Ilse Loots said that state witnesses who testified in the trial were honest and reliable and their versions were corroborated.
However, Fourie’s defence lawyer said it was possible someone else had caused the genital injuries to the mentally disabled woman. Meanwhile, the court had earlier heard testimony from the woman’s 36-year-old uncle who took to the stand to give his account of how he went looking for his niece on June 4 last year.
The family were at home in Timothy Valley, Bethelsdorp preparing to celebrate the woman’s sister’s 21st birthday. The uncle said he was outside making a fire for a potjie and braai when he noticed an uninvited Fourie sitting and chatting in the yard.
At some point the woman’s mother came out looking for her daughter but when she could not be found family members decided to expand the search he said, adding that at that moment Fourie was no longer in the yard. Family members went looking for the woman and her voice was heard in close proximity to their home.
The woman was found in a nearby house still under construction. The uncle told the court how he went into a room and witnessed their clothing pulled down and how his niece started pulling her trousers up. “When I got to the premises I saw Nathan and her standing facing each other.
When I got to her, she was crying and she said that she wanted go home and she left.” He said Fourie was just standing there and the uncle asked him why he did what he did.
Clinical psychologist Isabel Marais, had earlier told the court that the woman suffered from post-traumatic disorder and feared being without her mother. Judgment in the case will be handed down tomorrow.
LONDEKA DLAMINI firstname.lastname@example.org