Witness grilled in 'fake Uber' robbery and rape trial

Elias Mankgane, Daniel Maswikaneng, Treasure Bonga and Themba Mkhwanazi appeared at the High Court sitting in Palm Ridge, on respective allegations of using an Uber account to kidnap, rape and rob multiple Johannesburg women in 2016.
Elias Mankgane, Daniel Maswikaneng, Treasure Bonga and Themba Mkhwanazi appeared at the High Court sitting in Palm Ridge, on respective allegations of using an Uber account to kidnap, rape and rob multiple Johannesburg women in 2016.
Image: Thapelo Morebudi/Sunday Times

A man who was stabbed and his partner raped after being kidnapped by a taxi driver had his testimony about the ordeal interrogated in the South Gauteng High Court on Friday.

He is a witness in the trial of a "fake Uber" gang who used the e-hailing service app to kidnap‚ rape and rob multiple women in 2016.

Elias Mankgane‚ Daniel Maswikaneng‚ Treasure Bonga and Themba Mkhwanazi have pleaded not guilty to the crime spree in the South Gauteng High Court‚ sitting at the Palm Ridge Magistrate's Court.

The man‚ who cannot be named to protect the identity of his wife‚ testified earlier that they had requested an Uber about 2am after a night out in Sunninghill.

Two assailants with knives had emerged from the boot of the vehicle. The man was stabbed‚ both were robbed and taken to a house in Ekurhuleni where the woman was raped.

He told the court during cross-examination on Friday that the men had blindfolded him when they arrived at the house.

He confirmed positively identifying Mankgane because there was lighting in the house.

Mankgane's lawyer‚ Michelle Ives‚ however‚ said this evidence was not credible as there was no electricity in the house.

"It doesn't appear from the photographs that there was electricity in the house‚" Ives said.

"It's obvious there was electricity judging from the appliances that were in the house‚" the man shot back.

He told the court that he had also seen light from the crack of the door.

Ives pressed the man on why his statement had not mentioned the identity of her client.

The four men have pleaded not guilty to a number of charges‚ including rape‚ robbery‚ kidnapping and assault. Among their alleged victims is Susan Dey‚ the mother of singer Tamara Dey‚ who elected to be identified and speak out about her ordeal.

The case was postponed until Monday as Mankgane and Mkhwanazi were not well.

The pair had consulted with nurses in prison and were referred to a doctor. The court did not take kindly to the fact that they had not asked for sick notes.

They were ordered to bring legitimate doctor's notes to court on Monday.

Mkhwanazi struggled to walk as he left the dock‚ limping as he was ushered into the holding cells.

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