DNA points at two rape accused

DNA tests have positively linked two men with the rape of three Durban women on the KwaZulu-Natal South Coast, the Scottburgh high court heard yesterday.

DNA tests have positively linked two men with the rape of three Durban women on the KwaZulu-Natal South Coast, the Scottburgh high court heard yesterday.

Forensics expert Huibrecht Botha told the court that DNA testing of blood samples taken from Sithembiso Shelembe, 23, and Wonder Mchunu, 26, had linked the two men to the rape victims, two cigarette butts and a semen stain on a piece of cloth.

Shelembe and Mchunu, along with Mthokozisi Mbambo, 29, are accused of raping three Durban women at a beach house in Pennington, south of Scottburgh, on December 29 last year. The three are also accused of attacking and robbing a Gauteng couple later that night.

Botha explained that, according to statistical analysis, it was almost impossible for the DNA profile of Shelembe and Mchunu to be linked to another person.

"If we go and test 25 trillion people, we can expect one person to have the same profile (as Shelembe)." She pointed out that there "were only 6,5 billion people in the world".

The DNA recovered from saliva on two cigarette butts and a cloth that was retrieved from two of the women matched the DNA taken from Shelembe.

Botha said that it was a 99,999 percent certainty that the DNA was that of Shelembe. "There is a 99,999 percent exclusion." The DNA from Mchunu was retrieved from one of the women. However, Mbambo's DNA did not match any of the samples sent by investigating officers and the district surgeon to the police laboratory in Pretoria.

Botha said Shelembe's DNA that was also found on the cloth was mixed with another person's DNA.

In testimony on Tuesday, one of the women testified that she had been raped twice by Shelembe and that after raping her he had wiped himself off. He used the same cloth to wipe her off.

The three men's defence counsel said their clients claimed that their alleged victims had seen their pictures before the identification parade.

Advocate Abdul Khan said: "He (Mchunu) believes that you had sight of photographs taken of him by Inspector Basil Crouse and other policemen.". - Sapa

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