The affordable education loan option
A five-months pregnant woman, whose pleas not to be raped were ignored by armed attackers, is said to be severely traumatised after her ordeal at a guest lodge in Hazyview at the weekend.
The woman and two women colleagues, one of whom was also allegedly raped by two masked armed men, were awakened by the intruders who entered their unit at the Tatenda Guest House early on Sunday.
This comes barely a week after a group of Centurion primary school pupils and three of their teachers were robbed at gunpoint by three armed masked men, at a different lodge in Hazyview.
A source said the pregnant woman returned to Pretoria on Sunday afternoon and was taken to hospital in a severely traumatised state. Preliminary tests performed at a Hazyview hospital indicated that the unborn baby was fine.
“The woman is in a terrible state, which is understandable, considering what happened. They said the baby is fine, but this is very stressful and traumatic for anyone, so we pray she will be okay with the support of her family,” the source said.
The women had been on business in Hazyview since last Wednesday and were to return to Gauteng on Sunday afternoon.
The manager and owner of Tatenda, Christel Matthee, said the pregnant woman and one of her colleagues shared a unit while the third woman was in a different unit nearby.
“The two women woke up and realised there were intruders. There were two men, one was wearing a balaclava, the other a beanie.
“One had a handgun and the other a knife. The suspects asked for their cellphones, laptops, cash and jewellery.
“There was a panic button in the unit, but they didn’t have time to press it before the men left.”
Before the men fled they allegedly raped the two women, despite the pregnant woman’s pleas.
They fled on foot into the night.
“The women waited a while before they ran for help because they weren’t sure where the thugs were,” Matthee said.
“They then ran to the room of their colleague, where they told her what had happened. She called me and I called the police, an ambulance and security.”
The women were taken to hospital for rape identikits and treatment, after which they were flown back to Pretoria.
“It breaks my heart. I cannot imagine what those women must be going through. We are really sorry this happened. If there was anything I could do to ease the burden of that pain, I would,” Matthee said.
Police spokesman Colonel Leonard Hlathi confirmed the incident. Police were investigating, but had not yet made arrests.
He said police were continuing their search for the three men who robbed the Centurion primary school group.
Matthee and Christo du Plessis, manager at the Aan de Vliet guest lodge where the pupils were robbed, said the Hazyview community was up in arms about the surge in crime.
They say the rapid increase in criminal activity has affected tourism.
“People need to be made aware of these criminal activities, but it’s also a disadvantage for us because people won’t want to stay in the area any more,” Matthee said.
Communities had implemented private crime-fighting initiatives.
“If the police do their jobs properly, criminals will be off the streets. If they had let the dog unit out to track the spoor of the suspects as soon as they received information, they could have caught the criminals,” Du Plessis said, referring to last week’s incident.
Matthee echoed this, saying:. “There were clear tracks where the suspects fled. There was even a cellphone on the trail, but no police dogs were brought to the scene.
“A body fluids dog detection unit member was on his way to Witbank and heard what had happened. He came to see if he and his dog could help, so why could the K9 unit not come as well?”
Matthee said the community had lost faith in the police and was standing together to fight crime.