Saturday, October 5, 2013

South Africa: Rapists Change Pleas to Not Guilty in Cape Town, Norwegian Tourist Robbed, Gang-Raped

According to http://www.iol.co.za, two men accused of raping and robbing a Norwegian tourist at gunpoint on Signal Hill no longer want to plead guilty.

Prosecutor Phindile Sityata told the Cape Town Magistrate’s Court on Thursday (October 3) that Wafiek Buffkins and Lincoln Bester, both of Bonteheuwel, changed their minds after a legal aid attorney took responsibility for their legal representation.

DNA analysis results are still pending, although forensic evidence is critical in convicting the perpetrators.

The rapists allegedly accosted the Norwegian tourist and a man she was with at about 0100 hours on April 6. 

Armed with firearms, the assailants allegedly demanded the couples' cellphones, money and jewelry. They then allegedly took turns raping the woman and threatened to kill her friend if she resisted. The couple, whose names are being withheld, were driven to an unknown location where the woman was raped again. 

COMMENT: Shamiel Alexander and Shafiek Samsodien, to whom the cellphones were allegedly sold, were arrested three months after the attack. 

They alleged that Buffkins and Bester participated in the gang-rape of the Norwegian tourist. They were in turn arrested a week later. 

The four face seven counts each including rape, aggravated robbery, kidnapping and assault with the intent to do grievous bodily harm. 

Alexander and Samsodien are on bail of R500 (US$50) each. 

Buffkins and Bester have abandoned their bail applications. They are due back in court on December 5. 

South Africa is among one of the most dangerous countries in the world for violent crime. Thus, foreigners are urged to be off the streets early in the evening and avoid walking after dark. Transportation by reputable mode of  travel is strongly suggested.

Note: South Africa has one of the most serious per capita rates of forcible rape in the world, with a significant percentage of the population being positive for HIV/AIDS.