'Killer tampon' to give rapists the chop

Published Dec 22, 2000


An anti-rape device invented by a retired anaesthetist in the Free State has appalled men and women - for different reasons.

Jaap Haumann, 72, who farms near the small town of Clocolan, has designed a "killer tampon" which can lop off the end of a would-be rapist's penis.

Dr Haumann said he designed the device after speaking to several rape victims.

"It was clear to me that rape has a devastating impact on the lives of women, physically and especially mentally."

He said in one instance, a rape victim had refused to leave her house, even nine months after she was raped. Her friends did her shopping for her.

"We all know that South Africa has one of the highest incidences of rape in the world. With this device I believe would-be rapists would think twice before attacking a woman."

Dr Haumann said the device is designed to be used in the same way as a tampon. "I designed a hard cylindrical plastic core which contains the spring blade, which slices when pressed against.

"This plastic core is covered by soft material, the same as a real tampon. This is then inserted by the woman. When the rapist attacks the woman and penetration takes place, the point of his penis will touch the section containing the blade and it (the penis), or at least a part of it, is sliced off."

Speaking of the danger of HIV infection from a bleeding rapist, Dr Haumann said because rape was a violent crime, the danger of infection from semen was high in any event.

"But when a woman wears this device she would not resist and would not be damaged internally. So the chances of being infected by the blood from the rapist are, indeed, less."

Dr Haumann said the deterrent value of the device would be immense.

"And this is really the idea. If this device makes rapists think twice about attacking women, we have already achieved something."

But women Saturday Argus spoke to found the idea of carrying a "tampon timebomb" absurd.

"I would be extremely uncomfortable. Again the onus is put on the woman. Men who rape women should be jailed for life. Men should not rape, end of story," said one.

Another said Dr Haumann has obviously had too much free time since retiring. "What kind of person thinks up such an idea? Hasn't he got better things to do?"

Dr Haumann said the device was still in the design stage. "It would cost about R10 to manufacture one such device and I estimate at least a million South African women would wear it," he said.

Related Topics: