‘I was also raped by seven men’

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gang r ape victim

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A mentally ill woman from Pimville, Soweto, was gang raped by seven men last year. All the mens DNA tested positive and all are in custody. Photo: Moeletsi Mabe

As public anger raged over the alleged gang rape of a 17-year-old girl in Soweto, another mentally ill young woman who had suffered a similar fate wept silently at her home in the township.

And just like the Bramfischerville teenager, the 20-year-old woman from Pimville was allegedly raped by seven men.

But her rape was not recorded on a cellphone and, while reported to the police, went unreported in the media.

Mihloti’s* assailants allegedly took turns raping her while enjoying a braai. They had covered her head with a beanie and pinned her down.

Seven suspects, aged between 18 and 22, are appearing in the Protea Magistrate’s Court in connection with her rape.

According to sources close to the investigation, the men have all been positively linked to the rape through DNA tests.

Mihloti’s mother is dead and she and her three siblings live with their grandmother and other relatives in a four-room house.

Although mentally ill, Mihloti still has vivid memories of her ordeal on a Saturday night in June last year.

She has been able to name some of her alleged assailants, who live in her neighbourhood.

The men had lured her to the Nancefield Hostel before they raped her on a grassy patch.

“When we arrived, they bought meat and started braai-ing. They took me to a bushy area and started raping me,” she recalled, while her siblings and grandmother listened.

Mihloti’s version of events corroborated that given by her grandmother, siblings and the police earlier on Wednesday.

After the braai, the men took her to the nearby railway line, where they continued to rape her.

“As they raped me again, they said if I told anyone they would kill me.

“I screamed. Then I heard some voices and they (the alleged rapists) ran away,” said Mihloti.

The voices were of security guards manning the railway line.

The guards phoned the police, who took Mihloti home and then to hospital.

She now fears for her life, claiming that her alleged rapists’ siblings and relatives are threatening her.

“They say I am the one who made their brothers to be arrested.

“Whenever they pass my home, they insult me. I am scared.”

Her grandmother interjected: “They ask how can their brothers sleep with a mad person?

“It’s too painful because sometimes she sits alone and avoids other people. At one stage, they poured cold water on her.”

Wiping tears, the granny continued: “The Bramfischerville incident opened all the wounds, but we just thought it’s better if we left everything to the police (justice system).

“We just need justice to be done because they acted like beasts.”

The gang-rape suspects are due back in court on June 4.

According to a recent survey of 1 500 school children in Soweto, a quarter of the boys believed gang rape was fun. According to the SA Medical Research Council, only one in nine rapes are reported in the country.

According to the 2010/11 police stats, there were 66 196 sex offences in South Africa.

But with many rape incidents unreported, the figure could be significantly more.

* Not her real name

lebogang.seale@inl.co.za

The Star


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