Insure your car, home and valuables with iWYZE
Cape Town - Six men who were arrested for the gang rape and attempted murder of a Grahamstown woman were all released on free bail.
Thandiswa Qubuda, 28, who was beaten and had her right ear slit, has since died.
Qubuda was found partially dressed and unconscious in the backyard of a neighbour’s house on the corner of New Town and E Street in Grahamstown in the early hours of January 20.
She died on Thursday after fighting for her life for six weeks in Settlers Hospital in Grahamstown.
She had not regained consciousness.
Six men were arrested on charges of attempted murder and were released soon after on free bail.
Police are still investigating and the six may also be charged with rape, pending the results of DNA tests, said Grahamstown police spokeswoman Mali Govender.
“It was pouring that night,” said her neighbour, Ayanda Koda.
“My cousin came home and said he saw about six guys raping her (Qubuda). When one of the guys recognised him, they told him to join them.
“When he refused they wanted to shoot him, but he ran away.
“My sister, who is the owner of the house and also lives with him, heard screaming, so she went outside to check what was happening. She then saw (Qubuda) lying on her back, and her pants were down.
“Her arms were crossed like she was maybe trying to protect her chest, and her right ear was cut open. She was unconscious.”
Koda said an ambulance rushed Qubuda to hospital, where she was placed on a ventilator.
Qubuda’s cousin, Linda Booi, said she last saw Qubuda at a tavern the night before. “We decided to buy beers at the tavern that night.
“When I came out, I couldn’t findher (Qubuda), but she was with her friend and I thought they wanted to stay, so I left them,” she said.
Qubuda who was unemployed, lived with Booi and her aunt since her father died seven years ago, and her mother died in January last year.
“Qubuda is not someone to stay out all night, so we got worried. When they (the neighbours) told us what happened to her I couldn’t believe it. She was in hospital so long, not moving or talking,” she said.
Doctors declared Qubuda brain-dead a few weeks after the attack. Last week, doctors recommended that the family put her in a hospice for special care, said Booi.
Booi said Qubuda’s brother, who lives in Jeffreys Bay, would be travelling down for her funeral.
Govender said the charges against the men will be changed to murder at their next court appearance later this month.
Govender said police were still investigating.