Johannesburg – Seven men who allegedly gang raped a woman, pelting her with bricks before setting her body alight, are expected to appear in the Krugersdorp Magistrate's Court on Wednesday.
It is alleged that the 34-year-old woman was walking home with friends at around 4:30am on Saturday when a taxi hit one of her friends not far from their destination in Tshepisong, West of Johannesburg.
According to a statement that was released by provincial SAPS an altercation then ensued between the friends of the victim and the occupants of the taxi.
“The victim’s friends then fled, leaving behind the male victim (who was hit by a taxi) and female companion,” the statement read.
The victims were then allegedly beaten, the woman was gang raped, then they were both stoned. Petrol was then poured over them before they were set alight.
They were found by passersby in a veld where they had been left for dead just off Impala Road in the West Rand early on Saturday morning. The victims succumbed to their injuries on Sunday and Monday respectively.
The seven men, aged between 22-26 were arrested on Monday. They will appear in court on the charges of murder, rape and reckless and negligent driving.
Taxi association that operates in the area Dorljota ( Dobsonville Roodepoort, Leratong Johannesburg Taxi Association) has said that it will assist the families with funeral costs and transportation for mourners on the day of the funeral. They will also be assisting with ensuring that the third victim, the friend, gets counselling for the horror he witnessed.
According to Zeblon Simelane once they realised that the taxi that was involved in the matter belonged to the association they set out to finding them.
“The friend that managed to escape had luckily gotten the number plate of the taxi involved. We checked, found that it was one of our vehicles and set out to find the perpetrators and hand them over to the police. Which we did,” Simelane said.
Simelane added that yesterday, the membership of the association went to the homes of the two victims, where they conveyed their dismay at the gruesome crime and murder.
Tshepisong Ward 128 Councillor Sylvia Monakale (corr) who spoke for the families, said Cindi’ s 16-year-old son was not coping with the death. Monakale added that both families were shocked, but hopeful of getting closure.
“It hasn’t been an easy time for the families. The biggest question has been why would such a thing happen to them. But at least, knowing that arrests have been made, they have hope that they will find closure,” Monakale
She added that the community was extremely grateful for the efforts that Dorljota made to assist the family and to bring the alleged perpetrators to book.
“They have shown that they care about the community and that they are sorry. We are grateful,” Monakale said.
The pair will be buried on Saturday at a service that will be held at the Tshepisong Multipurpose Center from 7am.
The incident comes barely two weeks after another woman was raped in front of her 10-year-old son by occupants of a taxi on Ontdekkers road, also around the Roodepoort area.