PORT ELIZABETH, November 10 – The Port Elizabeth High Court is expected to hand down judgment in the trial involving a 28-year-old man who is charged with raping a mentally disabled woman.
The trial got underway earlier this week when Nathan Fourie pleaded not guilty to the charges which include rape and assault.
Fourie allegedly raped the woman who has the intellectual capacity of a four-year-old child.
In closing arguments on Friday, State Advocate Ilse Loots said that state witnesses who testified at trial were honest and reliable and their versions were corroborated.
“The only reasonable inference is that he took her to that building to rape her,” said Loots.
However, Fourie’s defence lawyer said that it was possible someone else had caused the genital injuries of the mentally disabled woman.
But Judge Jannie Eksteen asked: “Is it not overwhelmingly probable that she screamed because she was sustaining injuries?”
The defence lawyer then replied that there was no evidence of sexual intercourse and the woman could possibly have screamed because of injuries sustained from another time.
“So she suddenly started screaming while standing in the building?” Eksteen queried.
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, Betheldorp, preparing to celebrate the woman’s sister’s 21st birthday.
The uncle said that 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 towards one another facing each other. When I got to her [she] was crying and she said that she wants go home [and she left],” he said.
“[Fourie] was just standing there, I asked him why did he do this, he was aware that she is not normal.”
He said that following the confrontation a violent brawl ensued. “He broke a glass and said to me that he is going to stab me,” he said.
When the uncle got back home to the family, his niece told him: “Boeta [brother] he hurt me.”
“I asked her where and she said [Fourie] hurt her at her private parts, then my sister called the police,” he said.
Clinical psychologist Isabell Marais, had earlier told the court that the woman suffered from post traumatic disorder and fears being without her mother. She said that the woman suffered from “severe” intellectual disability and has the mental capacity of a four-year-old child.
Judgment in the case will be handed down next week Tuesday.
– African News Agency (ANA)