Kimberley - Outraged residents in Number Two, Galeshewe, have accused the police of dragging their feet after apparently taking more than two hours to assist a woman who was raped.
Community members who came to the aid of the woman said they had waited for hours for the police to assist the woman, who they said was raped in the backyard of one of the houses in the area on Sunday morning.
A woman who lives in the house where the incident occurred, said she was woken up after she heard some commotion in the backyard.
“I was sleeping and could hear something that sounded like a scuffle outside the house. It was between 4am and 5am at the time. I was scared to go outside as I was not certain what was happening. There is a bakkie parked next to the house and I could hear the doors repeatedly opening and closing.
“I eventually scraped up the courage to go outside. I found a woman lying on her back on the ground crying for help. I rushed over to her and could see blood running down her legs.”
The woman said she immediately called for help from the neighbours.
“I rushed to the street and called one of my neighbours. She came and we assisted the woman. We could see that she was naked and only wearing a top. We found her jeans and shoes at the front of the house. The woman was crying and we gave her a blanket to cover herself with.
“We called the police and reported the matter. We waited for them to show up but they didn’t. The woman was crying the entire time. She had bruises on her face and on other parts or her body. She also complained that she could not sit comfortably. Other community members came and again called the police but they still did not show up.”
A neighbour, who said she accompanied the woman to the police station, said that the police only arrived after 7am.
“When my neighbour called me to assist with the incident, I saw a man hiding behind one of the toilets in the backyard of the house. I told the other people that there was someone hiding in the shadows, but the person had already disappeared when they went looking. We found a bank card at the back of the house which we believe belongs to the perpetrator.
“When I got closer to the woman I recognised her. She had no pants on and was weeping. Her knees and toes, as well as her face, were bruised.
“She also recognised me and begged me to stay with her. I called her mother, who later came to the house.”
She said that the police eventually showed up and she escorted the woman to the police station.
“While we were at the house, she could not talk and she was only crying. She managed to tell me what happened when we were in the waiting room at the police station. According to the woman, she went to the tavern, which is located on the corner of the street where the incident took place, with her sister.
“She said she does not remember leaving with the perpetrator or how she even got out of the tavern. She could also not remember what happened to her sister.
“She said all that she could remember was that she had a scuffle with the man who raped her. She said she was unable to scream because the man was choking her. She said she did not know the person and wept as she repeatedly asked why he had done that to her.”
She added that the woman was later transported to hospital by the police.
The community members accused the police of not attending to serious reports of crime.
“This incident happened between 4am and 5am. We stayed with the woman for hours before the police arrived. There were several community members who made calls to the police to report the matter, but they still did not show up.
“It is very heartbreaking that we had to sit with someone who went through such an ordeal for hours. The woman had to endure pain and embarrassment due to the police.
“Had they acted swiftly, they might have even apprehended the culprit. We currently have a rapist roaming the streets freely. Who knows when this person will prey on someone else?”
Another community member called for more visible policing.
“The police do not patrol in areas where crime is rife. We have no street lights in the street where this incident occurred. There have been several houses that were broken into due to this. The tavern also closes during the early hours of the morning and it is not safe for residents staying in this area.
“The police need to patrol this area more, so criminals can know that they are being watched,” he said.
Galeshewe police spokesperson, Captain Bashoabile Kale, said that they are investigating a case of rape and the woman is currently in hospital.
“The Galeshewe FCS (Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences unit) is investigating a case of rape after a 36-year-old woman was raped by an unknown suspect at the back of a house in Jonga Street in Galeshewe between 4am and 5am on Sunday morning,” said Kale.
“The victim was spotted by members of the community, who contacted the police. The victim was badly injured and is currently receiving medical attention at Kimberley Hospital.
“The Galeshewe FCS requests anyone who might have information about the incident to contact Sergeant Masao on 084 613 5517.”
Diamond Fields Advertiser