Gouws trial: Friend tells of victim’s trauma; prosecution closes case

Dafré Troskie, a yearlong friend of Celeste Gouws, today testified in the private prosecution case of Andile Memese who is standing trial on one charge of rape and a charge of housebreaking with the intention to rape. The Private Prosecution Unit also closed their case for the prosecution today whereafter the accused’s legal team indicated that they would bring an application for discharge in terms of section 174 of the Criminal Procedure Act, 51 of 1977. The application will be argued on 26 to 28 July.

AfriForum’s Private Prosecution Unit, under the leadership of Adv. Gerrie Nel, represents Gouws in this case. Gouws was allegedly raped by Memese on the night of 2 September 2017 after he allegedly broke into her home.

Troskie, a chemist, today testified that she visited Gouws the morning after the alleged rape during which Gouws told her of the rape. She also testified of the trauma that Gouws experienced, and that Memese phoned Gouws on that morning (in the presence of Troskie) and asked her not to open a case against him. In a dramatic moment, Troskie shared her own trauma and said that very few people can comprehend the real trauma of rape. She stated that a woman cannot be blamed for her conduct after being raped – it took her five months to admit her own trauma.

Roy Schuin, the person who installed the CCTV-cameras in Gouws’s house at that time, also testified today. Troskie requested Schuin to acquire the video footage of the night of 2 September and he downloaded it the following day, whereafter he discovered that the camera system had been plugged out. This system was plugged in Gouws’s bedroom.

According to Andrew Leask, Chief Prosecutor at AfriForum’s Private Prosecution Unit, the deduction can be made that someone would only want to plug the CCTV-cameras out because this person does not want the events that unfolded to be recorded. “We are confident that we have presented a strong case and that the application for discharge will not be successful. We were ready to argue against the application today and we will not be deterred by what we perceive are delaying tactics by the defence team. We will not tire in our pursuit to ensure justice for the victims of gender-based violence.”

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