News / South Africa

Ilse de Lange
2 minute read
8 Dec 2017
6:58 am

Appeal court frees man serving life

Ilse de Lange

High court rules girlfriend’s version was so contradictory and unlikely it should have been rejected.

A Benoni man, who was sentenced to life in jail after his girlfriend falsely accused him of rape and kidnapping, is a free man after two judges of the High Court in Pretoria acquitted him on appeal.

The high court set aside the conviction and sentences of life and two years’ imprisonment that a Benoni Magistrate had imposed on Nxebo Mapone. His girlfriend had claimed Mapone accosted her on her way to work and dragged her by the wrist for more than a kilometre to his home, where he forcibly raped her three times.

She said she had feared for her life as he had kicked her in the stomach and slapped her and she eventually sent a text message to her new boyfriend, a police constable, saying she was at Mapone’s house, was dying and asking for help.

She said he ran away when her boyfriend and a community member arrived. Mapone denied raping her. He said they were still in a relationship and his girlfriend, who was very jealous, came to his home that morning thinking she would find him with another woman.

Then she phoned her aunt to say she was not going to work, got undressed, joined him in bed, talked about their relationship and they ended up being intimate. Then they had a meal and watched a movie on television.

Mapone said his girlfriend was startled when there was an aggressive knock on the door. She apologised to her new boyfriend, who wanted to know why she was there. Mapone said the police did not come to his house and he was only arrested a month later.

The high court ruled that the girlfriend’s version was so contradictory and unlikely that it should have been rejected. She had many chances to escape, but did not and never produced the text message she claimed she sent to her new boyfriend.


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