The mother of a now 19-year-old woman who has accused her former high school netball coach of raping and molesting her, on Tuesday morning stood firm in the face of suggestions that her daughter was lying.
“Children lie about small, petty things, yes,” she said,
“But about something this massive? I don’t believe my child would lie about that”.
The woman’s mother – who cannot be named in order to protect the identity of the complainant – was speaking from the stand of the Alexander Regional Court, as Alleshen Moodley’s trial got into its second day.
Moodley is facing a string of charges – including rape, sexual assault and common assault – over abuse he is said to have subjected the young woman to over several years from when she was 11 until she was 16.
The allegations against Moodley first came to the fore in early 2019.
After a disciplinary panel found him guilty of sexual harassment and financial mismanagement, he was axed from his job at Bryanston High School.
And following a series of delays, his criminal trial finally got underway on Monday, with Moodley pleading not guilty and the complainant and her mother both taking the stand.
Her mother’s testimony continued on Tuesday, when Moodley’s counsel, Sita Kolbe, suggested to her that the case was based on a “false charge,” but that it had “come so far, it’s not possible for anyone to admit it”.
“It would be an embarrassment for everybody,” Kolbe charged.
She was, however, unwavering.
“We wouldn’t have embarked on this journey if it was a false charge,” she said.
Kolbe also suggested the complainant’s mother enjoyed the “publicity” surrounding the case and that she had posted about it on Facebook this week. She, however, denied this too.
And asked why she had taken several days to open a case after her daughter had first reported that she was being abused, she said she had first wanted to take her to a counsellor and to get advice on a way forward.