PORT ELIZABETH – A Zimbabwean national accused of murdering his ex-girlfriend’s boyfriend in a fit of rage, and raping her twice, threatened to kill the woman while she was testifying in the Port Elizabeth High Court on Wednesday.
“I should have killed you rather than my Zimbabwean brother,” said 30-year-old Trust Tofa while interrupting the woman who was testifying.
Tofa said that even if he came out of prison 200 years later, he would hunt her down and kill her, and if he could not find her he vowed to kill her children.
Tofa called her a whore and a bitch, among other derogatory names.
Tofa is currently serving a 12 year sentence at St Albans Prison after he was tried and convicted in a separate case of robbery with aggravating circumstances and assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.
Judge Jannie Eksteen reprimanded Tofa and warned him that his outbursts may be detrimental to his case.
On Wednesday, Tofa once again refused to take his place in the dock saying he was unhappy with journalists taking his picture.
Tofa later addressed Eksteen saying that he was concerned for his safety and that there was a possibility of him being killed in prison because of published photos.
“Are you saying the law permits for me to be killed in prison? You must wait for me to speak. Prison guards are not available in the cells,” Tofa said to the judge.
But Eksteen would not allow the public and press to be cleared from the gallery. Eksteen made an arrangement that when court adjourned he would exit the courtroom after Tofa went back down to the holding cells.
The arrangement prevents the media from taking further pictures because the court is still technically in session.
Eksteen however said that he could not order the media to stop publishing pictures from an archive.
“If your council believes that the press is violating your rights I have no doubt he will bring an application,” said Eksteen.
The State alleges that in November 2016, Tofa went to the house of his ex-girlfriend armed with an iron rod and a knife.
According to the State, Tofa kicked down the door and assaulted his ex- girlfriend while she was asleep with her boyfriend.
The woman detailed the horrific attack on Wednesday and became emotional at times.
She said that Tofa slapped and pushed her and then turned to her boyfriend and assaulted him with the iron rod.
When the woman’s sister tried to intervene by throwing boiling water on him, Tofa drew out a knife and stabbed her, she testified.
The woman testified that she resisted but Tofa took her against her will to a shack in Motherwell where he raped her twice.
At the time of the rape the woman was six months pregnant. She claimed after the rape, Tofa hit her in her stomach and three days later the baby had to be delivered prematurely.
He is facing charges of murder,housebreaking, assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, kidnapping and rape.
The trial continues on Thursday.
African News Agency/ANA