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MANZINI –- Community police members are there to support and protect members of the public, however, in this case they ganged up and raped a vulnerable 17-year-old pupil at knife-point and in the presence of her young lover.

The accused persons, Sifiso Lukhele (22), Khandzana Ndwandwe (19) and Vusi Magagula (31) all of Dvokolwako, appeared before Principal Magistrate David Khumalo for sentencing.

This was after they were arrested and charged for raping a Form IV pupil, *Martha who was in uniform and taking a walk with her lover, *Lucky, who is also a pupil, when the incident occurred.

The accused persons were also charged for assaulting the two with sticks all over the body before and after the rape ordeal.
During trial, Martha told the court that she was from an athletics competition with her boyfriend, who was doing the same grade as her, when they decided to take a walk together to the nearest river.

While walking to the river, she said they met up with one of the rapists, Lukhele, who asked them where we were headed to.
Martha said they told him that they were taking a walk and appreciating the beauty of nature. She added that while they were addressing Lukhele, the two other rapists, Ndwandwe and Magagula, emerged from the forest and informed them that they were community police members.

“They told us that they were on guard to make sure none of the pupils committed any offences during the athletics competitions.
“One of them was carrying a stick and the other had traditional regalia on. They ordered us to lie down as they wanted to beat us up. They then took turns, assaulting us with sticks all over our bodies,” the complainant said.


She added that after assaulting them, they then ordered them to take off their clothing. Martha said she refused to do so but her boyfriend obliged.
She revealed that when they realised that she did not want to take off her clothes, Lukhele produced a knife and threatened to cut off her uniform so she could be naked.

“He then forcefully removed my uniform and underwear and further ordered me to lie on the ground. They forced us to have sexual intercourse, however, my boyfriend refused. They continued assaulting him until he was weak.

“One of the accused persons told another to demonstrate how my boyfriend was supposed to have sex with me. I must state that during the incident, we were video-taped and  pictures were also taken by one of the accused using his cellphone.

“I was raped by Khandzana Ndwandwe without protection and while he was sexually abusing me, he was ordered to stop by the other one, Vusi Magagula as he wanted to rape me too,” Martha said.

She also told the court that she was then dragged by Lukhele and Magagula to a nearby spot where the latter continued raping her. Martha, who was emotional when narrating the rape ordeal, further told the court that all three accused persons took turns and repeatedly raped her while he boyfriend was watching.

“After they had finished they forced my boyfriend to have sexual intercourse with me, failing which they would further assault him, however, when he tried, he could not do so as he was weak.

“They boldly told us about their position in the community, that they were community police members and further tied our hands using a scarf I had been wearing. They then led us to the bus station and ordered us to board public transport to our respective homes,” Martha also said.
She added that upon arrival at her home, she reported the matter to her elders who called the police. Martha also informed the court that she was later taken to Dvokolwako Health Centre where she was examined and treated.
The three accused persons were apprehended while at their places of abode and upon arrest they confessed to committing the rape offences.

During their court appearance before Principal Magistrate David Khumalo, the community police members pleaded guilty to the rape offences and also assaulting the duo on the day of the incident.

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