Durban - A brutal rape in Glenwood has horrified and angered residents who have lashed out at the number of whoonga addicts in their neighbourhood.
They have asked why, five weeks later, the shocking crime has not been made public to warn others.
The 37-year-old victim was assaulted and raped in a small “park” area in Nicholson Road on April 10. She was attacked by two men after trying to catch her cat which had escaped from her garden. The incident occurred late in the evening after she had returned home from work.
A close friend of the woman, who asked not to be named, said she was beaten, aggressively raped and burnt with cigarettes all over her body, including the genital region.
“Obviously I cannot say the perpetrators were on whoonga, but the aggression with which they raped and beat her was evident of people so out of touch with any kind of morality and awareness that they probably were on whoonga,” the friend said.
The victim said one of the men wore a red T-shirt, but covered his face with it. But she has been able to give details for an identikit to be drawn of the other man.
When the men finished assaulting her, they took her clothes, leaving her naked.
She was kept in hospital for two weeks because of the seriousness of her injuries.
“The whoonga addicts are a problem in the area. You see them walk around in twos or threes, completely ‘out of their minds’,” the friend said, adding that the problem of addicts moving to the area from Albert Park needed to be addressed.
The authorities should stop talking about plans to deal with or rehabilitate the addicts and start doing so, said the friend.
A Nicholson Road resident, who did not want to be named, said some of the lights in the park were not working.
“Every night I go there and chase the vagrants away,” he said.
Guy Perrins, the chairman of Glenwood Community Watch, said although the authorities were trying to eradicate the problem, more needed to be done with more resources made available to fight the number of whoonga addicts moving into the area.
“In the past four months we have had a spike of crime in the area, such as hijackings, muggings, robberies, house break-ins, car thefts and yard hopping.”
Perrins said news of the rape had shocked him, but he was just as shocked by the lack of information circulated by police about the incident.
“We did hear about it, but when we followed up with police and residents nearby who may have heard her screaming for help, we never received any information. No one knew about it, so we dismissed it as something that did not happen.
“But now that we know it did happen, we are absolutely shocked and feel sorry for this poor victim. It is very worrying,” he said.
Police said no arrests had been made yet. They were not able to give the identikit to The Mercury.