No mercy for rapists – never
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.