Granny collapses and dies after witnessing relatives' horrific rape ordeal
Provincial police spokesperson Captain Nqobile Gwala said Impendle police are investigating charges of rape and have opened an inquest.
“It is alleged that on Saturday night an unknown suspect, wearing a balaclava, forced the door open and, at gunpoint, raped three family members aged between 19 and 25.
“A 71-year-old woman, who witnessed the incident, collapsed and was declared dead at the scene,” said Gwala.
Gwala appealed to anyone, who might have information about the suspect involved in the incident, to contact the local police or Crime Stop on 0860010111.
Family spokesperson Mzwandile Ndlovu said the suspect locked the three girls in their grandmother’s room, called them one by one and raped them.
“We found gogo foaming at the mouth and she was already dead.
“We think she was so horrified by the incident, that it led to her death. This incident worsened her already poor health condition because the girls said the suspect did not touch her,” he said.
Ndlovu said the family was traumatised by the incident, especially during this time of national lockdown in the country.
KwaZulu-Natal Social Development MEC Nonhlanhla Khoza yesterday condemned the incident and expressed outrage at the increase of rape incidents.
“We are severely pained by these appalling incidents of rape and murder of our women. We have seen a dramatic increase in incidents of gender-based violence, murder and rapes,” said Khoza.
Khoza urged the public to assist the police with any information that could lead to the arrest of the perpetrator.
“We believe that the incidents of callous rapes and murders of our women will come to an end when communities work together with the police. We are deeply concerned about the ongoing spate of gender-based violence.
“The government has introduced a number of interventions to confront the scourge, but we often hear about these incidents. We send our heartfelt condolences to the families who have lost their loved ones,” she said.
She added that a team of social workers had been dispatched to provide psychosocial support to the family and the victims of rape.
Police Minister Bheki Cele and gender activists have complained about the upsurge in gender-based violence during the nationwide lockdown, saying women and children are sitting ducks during this time.
The area’s ward councillor Donathusi Dlamini said the community was devastated by the incident, adding that it had instilled fear and panic among locals.