Defence claims children were ‘coached’ in AB Xuma scholar patroller rape case

Defence claims children were ‘coached’ in AB Xuma scholar patroller rape case

The entrance to the AB Xuma Primary School in Orlando East, Soweto, as seen on 14 March 2018 in Orlando East, Soweto. Picture: Michel Bega

The lawyer described the pupils’ evidence as ‘dramatic’ and said only those children instructed to do so had taken the stand. 

The defence lawyer in the trial of AB Xuma Primary School scholar patroller, Johannes Molefe, has told the high court sitting at the Palm Ridge Magistrate’s Court there were too many discrepancies in the testimonies of the children for their evidence to be accepted.

During closing arguments, Lumka Xoxo said their evidence could not be believed and that they had been “coached”.

She described their evidence as “dramatic” and said only those children instructed to do so had taken the stand.

Xoxo argued the rapes could not have happened because there had been other people around when they allegedly took place.

Molefe is facing three charges of rape and eleven of sexual assault which he allegedly committed in 2017.

While giving his testimony last week, Molefe said the case against him was a plot to remove him as the security guard so that the principal Maria Mthimkhulu could not be harmed because she was allegedly stealing the school’s money.

On Monday, Xoxo argued a girl who had said she had a vaginal infection could have gotten it from not cleaning herself correctly in the toilet and not because she was touched by Molefe.

She said there were material contradictions by the witnesses which the court needed to consider.

Xoxo said there was no evidence that one of the girls was raped by Molefe.

She said it was unlikely that another one of the girls could have been sexually assaulted by Molefe during their lunch break next to the school gate where there were vendors and other children around.

One of the girls who testified against Molefe told the court that she went to report him to her teacher who instructed her to tell Molefe to stop touching her.

Xoxo said it was unlikely that a teacher would tell a child who had been a victim of sexual assault to tell the perpetrator to stop what he was doing.

She said one of the children was in communication with the other witnesses during the trial which was irregular.

“The state failed to prove its case beyond reasonable doubt that Mmkhulu (the name the children used for Molefe) committed these offences,” Xoxo said.

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