Gang rape accused in court

Rapist appear3 The seven rape suspects arriving at court.

Seven people, including two minors, accused of gang raping a mentally ill Soweto teenager arrived at the Roodepoort Magistrate's Court under heavy guard on Thursday.

Court proceedings were slightly delayed as the police docket arrived after 9am and officials were trying to allocate a courtroom to the case.

The seven were arrested in Dobsonville, Soweto, on Tuesday, after they were matched to the descriptions of the rapists seen in a video recording of the attack.

The video of the 17-year-old girl being raped went "viral" on the internet on Wednesday, and was one of the main topics trending on social networking site Twitter.

A group of about 30 women from the African National Congress's Women's League arrived at the court in a bus dressed in ANC colours. They were armed with posters reading: "cut their penis - no bail", "let them rot in jail" and "done with rapists", and sang freedom songs.

Members of the girl's family were outside the court. Gauteng safety and security MEC Faith Mazibuko was there to support the girl and her family.

Rapist appear2 Hundreds of women protested outside the Roodepoort Magistrate's Cpourt as seven suspects in the rape of the 17-year-old girl appeared in court. INLSA

"We need to fight this scourge that is in our communities. All those that are doing wrong things to women must be brought to book," Mazibuko said outside court.

"If you are a man you must use your brain to think, not your trousers."

National Prosecuting Authority spokesman Mthunzi Mhaga told reporters outside court that it was illegal to have a copy of the video, or distribute it.

"The situation of child pornography is a criminal offence... We will charge these people as well," Mhaga said.

The girl went missing on March 21 and was found in a man's house in Braamfischerville, Soweto on Wednesday. This man was the eighth person arrested for the crime. It was not known when he would appear in court.

Journalists would not be allowed in court to cover proceedings as the case involved minors, but Mhaga would brief them afterwards. - Sapa



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