Fifteen and a virgin at the time of the incident, she was labelled a “loose child” and a liar.
“People said I was a liar. They accused me of sleeping around and of putting the blame on an innocent man. They said I had a boyfriend and that he had taken my virginity,” she said.
The woman was raped at her home in Inanda on her way to the toilet outside the main house.
“What destroyed me further was the fact that people did not believe me. I felt rejected and alone. For two years I didn’t hear anything from the police. I blamed myself and regretted opening the case.”
She said it was only after two years that she received a call from new detectives who had taken over her case and met several other women who had been raped by the same man.
The woman was testifying in aggravation of sentence for Amos Ganyeni Ngobeni, 30, who was convicted of raping 19 women. He had claimed that the women were all prostitutes and he was their pimp.
His defence was that he had consensual sex with them when they could not pay him his R100 daily fee.
“It was after I met the other ladies here in court that I got to learn that they also went through the same experience. They, too, were called liars. Amos was a well-known person in the community, and people protected him,” the 18-year-old said.
The survivors said they were further insulted during the trial when Ngobeni accused them of being prostitutes.
The court heard yesterday in mitigation of sentence that the Zimbabwean arrived in the country at the age of 13, searching for a job. He lived in Limpopo before relocating to Durban, working as a builder and electrician in the Amaoti area.
Advocate Theyagaraj Pillay said the court should consider the two years and nine months Ngobeni had already spent awaiting trial, and that he was a father and a first offender.
Senior State advocate Noxolo Dube said Ngobeni was a father and knew of his responsibilities to his wife and children when he committed the crimes.