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This article appeared in The Herald of 28 August 2018 written by Devon Koen:


The man who raped an NMU student and sexually assaulted a second student has pleaded guilty to a litany of charges.

Kwanele Kilana, 29, of Zwide, pleaded guilty to seven of the 12 charges he faced when he appeared in the Port Elizabeth High Court on Monday.

The two young women he attacked had been working in the institution’s computer labs on the Second Avenue campus when Kilana assaulted them.

On Monday, Kilana listened intently as state prosecutor Ishmat Cerfontein read out the charges, intermittently pleading guilty to some of them.

In his plea explanation submitted to court, Kilana gave a vivid account of his crime spree, which started in July 2017 when he raped a 27-yearold woman and robbed her of her cellphone and money near Greenacres Village, Greenacres.

While that preceded the NMU attack, Kilana was only arrested for that crime after his arrest for the rape and sexual assault on campus.

Kilana further pleaded guilty to raping a 25-year-old NMU student and sexually assaulting her 30-year-old friend in the computer labs of the fashion design department on October 2 2017.

In his explanation, Kilana admitted he went to the university premises with the intention of stealing valuable items and while there he saw the two women students in the computer labs.

“It was at that stage I decided to rob the two females of their belongings,” he said.

“I, however, didn’t have any weapons on me and I left to one of the rooms in the building and found a pair of scissors.

“I returned to the computer laboratory wearing yellow rubber gloves.”

After robbing the victims of their belongings and stabbing one of the women in the back “with the intention of forcing her to give me her cellular phone”, Kilana forced the women to strip.

Thereafter, he raped the younger woman and sexually assaulted her friend.

According to the indictment, Kilana had scaled the perimeter fence of NMU’s Second Avenue campus before making his way into the fashion design building.

Shortly after the attack, NMU students staged a number of protests.

They called for increased security on the institution’s campuses across the city.

Kilana was charged with housebreaking, four counts of attempted robbery with aggravating circumstances, sexual assault, compelled sexual assault and four counts of rape.

He pleaded guilty to two charges of rape, sexual assault, compelled sexual assault, housebreaking, robbery and attempted robbery with aggravating circumstances.

Kilana’s legal representative, Khaya Saziwa, said his client would plead guilty to an alternative charge of theft as opposed to robbery with aggravating circumstances.

Cerfontein indicated that the state accepted his plea explanation but would not concede to the alternative charge of theft.

Asked by judge Dayalin Chetty if he understood the charges against him and if he accepted the plea explanation, Kilana nodded his head in agreement.

The case continues.