WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT
A Hankey mother felt like she and her three children were being “hunted like wild animals” the night a lone attacker broke into their farmhouse.
Testifying in the Port Elizabeth High Court on Tuesday, the 44-year-old woman recalled the screams of her children and the terror on their faces as a former worker fired shots through their home.
She told the court that in March last year an attacker stormed their house just after 8pm as she was getting into bed to watch TV and her children were in the lounge. Her husband had gone on a hunting trip, leaving the children 15, 12, and nine at home with their mother.
The woman said her children ran towards the passage, her two younger children ran into her bedroom and hid while the teenager made a dash for the bathroom.
At this stage, the woman had already been shot in her buttocks but she said she pushed her body against the bedroom door to prevent him from entering but he then started shooting.
The mother said it went quiet and she tried to load a rifle from her safe.
“I tried to load it because I was so familiar with it. I was unsuccessful. I had been shot and I was so scared I did not manage to load it,” she said before breaking down in tears.
Sebenzile Simane, 32, has pleaded not guilty to a string of charges which include housebreaking, robbery, kidnapping, rape, attempted rape, causing children to witness a sexual offence, attempted murder, unlawful possession of a firearm and ammunition, and robbery with aggravating circumstances.
The intruder made his way inside the bedroom through a sliding door after he fired shots and shattered the glass.
In the bedroom, Simane allegedly pointed a gun towards the nine-year-old boy’s head. The woman said he was agitated because her teenaged son had disappeared.
A while later he pushed them into the lounge and her teenage son walked in with his hands up.
“He was very aggressive with us, he threatened to shoot [the boys]. The children were petrified but quiet because they didn’t want to do anything to make him more angry,” she said.
According to the woman, Simane believed that R9,000 was owed to him and he kept telling the children he was angry with their father.
“He wanted to know where my husband was and he said he would kill him and then kill all of us.”
The woman said she gave him R600 from her handbag with bank cards and told him he could draw more at an ATM begging him not to kill them.
At this stage, she said Simane started tying up their hands and feet with wire and whatever else he could find. The woman said Simane then told her eldest son to have sex with her.
“[My eldest son] tried to calm me because I could not believe what I was hearing and I begged him not to.”
The woman said he then turned to the children and said he would rape me and the children must watch.
The woman said she again pleaded with him not to rape her in view of her children. He then dragged her to the bedroom where she said he raped her on her bed.
A short while after the rape, Simane returned with the woman’s 12-year-old daughter. “He made her sit on the bed next to me and removed her shorts and ties on her legs.”
The mother said he saw Simane touching her daughter’s private parts.
“I just was screaming please don’t rape her she’s too young. She’s only 12 it’s not possible. Please don’t rape her,” she recalled.
“He took his penis and moved it towards her and I started kicking and screaming begging him not to. He eventually stopped.”
The woman said Simane then made the child watch as he raped her mother. “He would make sure she was watching even though she tried to look away.”
At this point, court proceedings took an adjournment because the woman became emotional. Court officials were also seen crying.
Mother and daughter were later taken back to the lounge where he lit the woman’s cigarettes and allowed her to smoke off one.
“He kept making threats about my husband that he would chop him up and he was waiting for him.”
The mother said she offered to drive him to an ATM because he could not start her vehicle. She said she wanted to get him away from her children hoping they would find help.
She explained that she had become weak from losing so much blood, but they drove into town where he withdrew R4,000 at around 11.30pm. She said he wanted to draw money again and she was ordered to drive to a gravel road to await midnight.
The woman said she was shaking and as they waited and Simane gestured that he wanted to rape her again on the back seat of her VW minibus. The woman said if she moved to the back she would have lost more blood. She rationalised with him that she “knew he wasn’t a bad person,” and pleaded: “I just need to fetch my kids and get to hospital.”
After midnight, he withdrew more money, took the bags he had filled with the children’s belongings, said goodbye and left, she said.
She drove towards the family farm but saw the lights on at her husband’s cousin’s house.
“They came out with their guns ready and the children were already there. We were all just in such a state,” she said.
The trial continues on Wednesday.
-African News Agency