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Cape Town - Two men were beaten to a pulp by angry Khayelitsha residents after they were accused of raping a mentally disabled epileptic girl.
The 15-year-old girl was playing outside her home last Thursday when the two men allegedly lured her to a shack, promising to give her money.
After about two hours of torture and abuse, the girl managed to escape and sound the alarm.
Within 24 hours, the community had tracked down the suspects, beaten them senseless with sticks, sjamboks and fists, and handed them over to police.
On Monday, Msimelelo Tshaka, 27, and Mntuwekhaya Solwandle, 29, appeared briefly at the Khayelitsha Magistrates’ Court where they were charged with the teen’s rape.
Magistrate Carmen Wyngaard postponed the matter to next Tuesday for bail information.
According to relatives, the two suspects are known to the family of the victim.
The men are believed to be regular customers at the family’s meat braaing business.
Family members say they were alerted to the attack when the epileptic teenager was found at a neighbour’s house in a state of shock with bloodied panties.
“I sent one of her sisters to go and fetch her but she did not come back and after a while she returned when her older sister went to fetch her,” the victim’s mom said.
“When she came back, she stood at the door and was too scared to come inside, she did not want to talk or be touched, all she did was cry.
“By then the police had already been called so we took her to the hospital but even there she would not even allow the doctor to examine her.
“Eventually, she was taken to theatre and discharged the following day; the doctor said there was tearing in her vagina.”
The distraught mother of three says her daughter’s epileptic fits have increased since the attack.
“My child has been sick for the past 13 years, she is mentally disabled,” she told the Daily Voice.
“I’ve spent my whole life trying to make her life better and these guys (suspects) know her.
“I would have understood if it were random guys who did this but they knew her.
“I’m hurt, I don’t want to walk in that road anymore, and I don’t even want to hear the word rape.
“She doesn’t talk about it but she becomes tense when strangers walk in the door.”
The teen’s 41-year-old father says he personally went looking for his daughter’s attackers.
The next day, the community was rounded up and went on a hunt for the alleged rapists.
“(The suspects) were still at the yard where it happened,” said the dad.
“One of them was sitting in the shade and he directed me to his friend who was still sleeping inside the shack.
“We brought them to the house and asked my child if she recognised them and she said they were the ones who attacked her.
“They were taken to an open field nearby and beaten good and proper before calling the police.
“I don’t ever want to see them again, I don’t want them released from prison, and if they do (get released) they shouldn’t come back here,” he said.