Port Elizabeth - Rape survivor and Gauteng businesswoman Andy Kawa on Monday, for the first time in a court of law detailed her horrific rape ordeal which allegedly happened on a Port Elizabeth beachfront almost eight years ago.
Kawa was testifying in the Port Elizabeth High Court on Monday where she is suing the South African Police Service (SAPS) for damages just short of R6 million.
Almost eight years after a brutal attack that lasted 16 hours, Kawa claims that police negligently failed to investigate her case and is seeking justice by suing the SAPS.
Court papers cite that police were delayed in responding to the call by joggers who assisted Kawa after the attack, who reported at the time that she had been found on the beach after she had allegedly been raped.
Police are also accused of failing to search the area of the sand dunes after Kawa had reported the allegations at the police station.
Kawa claims that she herself had to conduct the investigation into her own rape case and collect evidence.
She claimed to have suffered post-traumatic stress and depression and has not returned to her brokerage consultancy since the attack almost eight years ago.
On December 9, 2010, Kawa was allegedly abducted while walking along Kings Beach, held hostage and gang-raped for a period of 15 to 16 hours in sand dunes. Kawa managed to escape from her abductors the next day.
But the charges against the two men were withdrawn when DNA evidence failed to link the men to the brutal attack.
Kawa told the court on Monday that she had flew into Port Elizabeth for the day to sign papers for home in Summerstrand she had purchased for her mother.
After the paperwork was completed at around 2:30pm, Kawa decided to take a walk on the beach to dip her feet in the water, feeling accomplished that she was able to buy her mother a house.
She said that it was a warm day and the beachfront was busy.
While dipping her feet in the ocean and sending a text message to her friend, Kawa said she looked up and saw a man who immediately made her feel uncomfortable.
“The eyes, there was something about his eyes that caught my attention. He had very angry eyes,” Kawa said.
It was when Kawa decided to walk hastily towards the parking lot in the direction of her vehicle she felt herself being accosted.
“He grabbed me from the back and gave me a few punches, he told me not to shout or he would kill me,” she said.
“It looked like my life was being threatened and I was terrified. It was a frightening experience,” she said.
Kawa said that she tried to escape but her attacked pinned her down with a knife to her throat and told her that he would kill her.
Kawa said a miracle had happened when her attacker gave her a choice either to be killed or to “obey” instructions and go with him.
At a clearing, Kawa claimed that the attacker ordered her to take off her clothing. She was then blind-folded with her own linen garments.
“I was scared I didn’t know if I would come out of this alive. Then he raped me,” she said.
At the time Kawa believed that it was only one man who was raping her. She said her abductor was wearing shorts but while she was being repeatedly raped she saw through the linen material a man wearing long pants.
“At the time I thought it was one person raping me who was maybe mentally ill and kept on changing.”
Later that evening Kawa said her attacker spoke to her, an ex-convict who had been released from St Albans Prison after serving a sentence for stabbing a man intimately involved with his lover.
She got the impression that he was “evil and devilish”.
Kawa said after it got dark the rape continued for the rest of the night.
Kawa said at no point during the night did she hear any people or a search party. She heard a helicopter and asked the man if she could urinate with the hope a helicopter could pick up movement.
In the morning Kawa said her attacker told her she could leave and she felt car keys drop on her stomach.
When Kawa cautiously removed her blindfold her attacker was gone and she realised that she was lying in a sparse bushy area.
She said she ran towards joggers screaming and pleading for help but they passed her by until one jogger, Julian Britz, decided to listen to her.
The police were called but Kawa said they never pitched and Britz had to take her to the Humewood Police Station.
Kawa said when she got to the police station she saw a cop come out the building who said: ‘Is this the lady we were looking for during the night?’
Kawa said she later had to accompany the police to the crime scene because they could not find the location.