Trio found guilty of rape

Three men accused of raping three Durban women at a beach house on the KwaZulu-Natal South Coast were found guilty in the Scott-burgh high court yesterday.

Three men accused of raping three Durban women at a beach house on the KwaZulu-Natal South Coast were found guilty in the Scott-burgh high court yesterday.

Judge Leona Theron found Sithembiso Shelembe, 23, Mthokozisi Mbambo, 29 and Wonder Mchunu, 26, guilty on five counts of rape.

They were also found guilty of indecent assault and robbery with aggravating circumstances.

The men raped the three women at a beach house in Pennington on December 29 last year. Later that night they attacked and robbed a Sandton couple.

Mbambo, who is HIV-positive, was acquitted of attempted murder.

Mbambo was diagnosed with HIV "as far back as 2000", according to the indictment.

The indictment said Mbambo raped the women "in spite of his knowledge of the potential transmission of a virus leading to fatal consequences".

Theron said: "The case presented against the accused was overwhelming. As witnesses each of the accused failed dismally.

"They contradicted themselves and they were not afraid to tailor their evidence as the trial unfolded," said Theron, who added that there was evidence against the three men that "they could not even begin to explain".

She said witnesses who testified for the state "were not shown to be lying".

"She is a brave young woman," Theron said of one of the rape victims who testified. - Sapa

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