Judge rejects serial rape trial plea

Khanyisile Nkosi

Khanyisile Nkosi

A request to enable all the 65 women allegedly raped by Mongezi Jinxela to testify behind closed doors was turned down yesterday.

Judge George Maluleke, however, ruled that individual applications should instead be brought as and when the women were to testify.

Maluleke said the ruling was to balance the interests of Jinxela's right to a fair trial with the alleged victims' right to be protected by the court.

"It will, therefore, be in the interests of justice that every applicant be dealt with individually."

Shortly after Jinxela, of Meadowlands in Soweto, had pleaded not guilty to 261 charges, which include 70 of rape, the state brought a blanket application that all the alleged victims be allowed to testify in camera.

Louisa Loots, for the state, argued that the alleged victims feared further victimisation if they testified in an open court. Some of the alleged victims had never told their families about their ordeals.

One of the victims, who is five months pregnant, feared that her boyfriend, a former top soccer player, might also be victimised.

The judge ruled that the pregnant victim may testify in camera.

The trial continues next year.