Rape accused escapes from court toilet

A 26-YEAR-OLD man on trial for allegedly raping his neighbour is on the run after escaping from court on judgement day.

Oscar Ramatua Moeketsane of Koedoespoort near Marapyane in Mpumalanga escaped from the Temba magistrate's court in Hammanskraal last Thursday. He was due to be sentenced for raping a 19-year-old woman in 2007.

Police say Moeketsane had heard a magistrate sentencing another rapist to 15 years in jail.

He asked the investigating officer in his case, Inspector Modise Matsemela, if he could use the toilet.

"When he asked to use the loo the police did not think he wanted to escape because he was already out on bail. We only realised that he had escaped when he failed to pitch up when called into the accused box," Mmametlhake police spokesperson Hastings Chaane said.

Moeketsane was in the final day of his trial in which the court heard he had raped his victim at knifepoint after she had turned down his advances.

"The DNA tests had already showed that Moeketsane had indeed forced himself on his victim on that fateful night and his lawyer advised him to plead guilty.

Now his victim, who lives in the neighbouring village of Marapyane, is living in fear.

"I can't go anywhere alone because I'm afraid he might kill me."

Chaane said a massive hunt for Moeketsane had been launched.

"Rumour has it that Moeketsane is hiding in Mamelodi, Pretoria, and we ask anyone who knows his whereabouts to call Inspector Matsemela on 012-721-3824 or 082-752-2919."