’I was raped and nearly killed by the monster of Mtwalume’
Durban - A 25-year-old woman is counting her blessings after her near-death experience believed to be perpetrated by a serial killer on the KwaZulu-Natal South Coast.
Brigette* (not her real name) cannot be identified because she is a rape victim. She believes that the man who raped and almost killed her was responsible for the murders of five women who were raped and murdered in Mtwalume.
Brigette said the man, whom she described as a “monster”, was from her neighbourhood and had befriended her on social media.
She said they met in February, in Isipingo, south of Durban, where they boarded a taxi to a deserted house in Mfazazane area, where he told Brigette he lived.
At round 8.30pm and on their first date, the man forced her to take off her clothes. When she resisted, he placed a knife on the table. She said he tied her hands with a USB cord, pushed her on the bed and raped her repeatedly while dipping her head in a bucket of water.
“It was a night that I will never forget. He placed a knife against my neck, forced me to say the last prayer while threatening to slit my throat. He was extremely violent. I begged him to let me go home as I vowed to never tell another living soul about his behaviour. I was scared, my face was covered with blood. He also choked me with his bare hands until I could not breathe,” she said.
Brigette, who is in hiding, said she eventually escaped after telling the rapist she had a 2-month-old baby who needed a mother. She said she could not go to the police because it would have placed her baby and grandmother in danger.
But after the news about the mysterious murders of women from her neighbourhood, she went to the police to open a case.
The latest victim, Zama Chiliza, whose body was found last week, was her neighbour.
Brigette said she gave up her job as a machine operator in Umbongintwini near eManzimoti to hide from her rapist.
“I am scared to go to a shop; even to the local clinic because there could be more people involved. I was traumatised, and suicidal. I am very scared of being surrounded by men,” she said.
An activist for women’s rights, Hlengiwe Gambushe, said she encouraged Brigette to speak out so that the killer could be apprehended.
Area Community Police Forum chairperson Lucky Bhuyeni said there was a campaign for victims to come forward.
“We expect more women to report such crimes,” said Bhuyeni.
On Monday, one of the two men suspected of killing five women in Mtwalume, committed suicide and the other walked free because of insufficient evidence.
The men were due to appear in the Umzumbe Magistrate’s Court, but the hearing was postponed after the main suspect killed himself.
Chiliza, 38, was buried at her village home yesterday.
The other victims were sisters Akhona, 23, and Nosipho Gumede, 16, and Nelisiwe Dube, 22, and Baja Duma, 32.