No mercy for rapists – never

Saturday Star - - OPINION -

THE SPEC­TRE of rape is upon us once again with the des­per­ately sad story of a woman abused – gang-raped – in the back of a taxi, af­ter flag­ging it down. Her 10-year-old son was forced to watch as the men took turns to rape her in a four-hour or­deal. Men in ap­par­ently the same taxi have been tar­get­ing women in other parts of Jo­han­nes­burg, along with re­ports of po­lice in­dif­fer­ence when these rape sur­vivors went look­ing for help.

Now, in the wake of these rev­e­la­tions, pro­vin­cial po­lice have set up a top-level team of de­tec­tives and of­fi­cers to find out who these rapists are and get them be­hind bars as quickly as pos­si­ble.

The fact, though, is that these sur­vivors who come for­ward are just the tip of the ice­berg when it comes to the scourge of this crime in our coun­try.

It’s im­por­tant to find the men in the Quan­tum taxi, but the cam­paign can­not end there.

There’s some­thing des­per­ately sick about a so­ci­ety which tac­itly ac­cepts ei­ther rape or any other form of vi­o­lence against women and chil­dren. We are that so­ci­ety.

We don’t need more laws. We don’t need heav­ier pun­ish­ments – the ones we have are more than ad­e­quate, par­tic­u­larly min­i­mum sen­tences of 15 years for first­time of­fend­ers.

What we need to do is ap­ply these laws, with­out fear or favour and con­sis­tently. We need to help rape sur­vivors, not de­monise them. We need to help them and the po­lice suc­cess­fully pros­e­cute the per­pe­tra­tors.

It’s that sim­ple. There is no room in our coun­try for rapists, or men who at­tack women. There can be no room for any doubt any more on this is­sue. Jail them all.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.