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Despite the fact that he is behind bars, the families of two victims of a convicted Wembezi serial rapist say they still don’t feel safe.
The mother of a teenager who was raped by Delani Ngqulunga in March 2010, when she was 17 years old, said the rape had robbed them of their right to feel safe.
The mother, who works as a grass cutter at a farm in Wembezi, Estcourt, said there were days when she thought of the trauma her daughter had gone through and found herself in tears.
“That day, we had gone to collect firewood from the hill with my husband and her siblings. She (the daughter) was supposed to follow us, but never did,” she said.
“When we got home she was not there and I became worried.” Afraid of what could have happened, the mother went back to the hill to search for her daughter.
“I did not find her and when I was on my way back home I saw her coming down the hill. I knew she had been raped by the way she was walking,” she said.
When they got home her daughter told her that as she was making her way up the hill, she was dragged by three men to the side of a path. One of the men was Ngqulunga.
The two men had left her with Ngqulunga who had then raped her repeatedly before letting her go, she said.
“I called the police and she was taken to hospital. I was traumatised. As a mother it’s something you can’t handle when your child is violated in such a way, and worse not knowing by who.”
She said her daughter had been severely affected by the rape. “There were times I would not believe she was raped because no-one had been arrested, and she could see I was doubting her and it hurt her,” she said.
The news of Ngqulunga’s arrest a year later brought relief, even joy, to the family.
“I could just see the relief in my daughter’s eyes because she knew that I now believed her,” the mother said.
However, fearful of further attacks, the family no longer up the hill to collect wood. “You can’t take chances. People are cruel and what angers me is that this man does not care,” said the girl’s mother. “He is just full of hatred. Because of him we don’t feel safe any more.”
The family was, however, happy with the sentence handed down by the court.
The family of a 10-year-old girl who was repeatedly raped by Ngqulunga is also scared after their horror ordeal.
The girl and her sister were kidnapped by Ngqulunga and held for six hours.
Now their mother does not let them out of her sight.
“He raped my eldest daughter in front of her younger sister and they were horrified when they came home that day,” the girls’ mother said. “I just lost my mind.”
The elder daughter has since moved away to stay with her grandmother because she could not cope with the trauma.
“She was hospitalised for three days because of the damage he did to her,” she said.
“It’s very hard to trust people now. He deserved what he got,” she said of Ngqulunga’s sentences. “But now we have to pick up the pieces of our lives. We just have to. He showed no remorse for his actions. He does not care.”