Justice fails woman after two rape ordeals
Now HIV-positive, she says cops are still dithering years later
THE JUSTICE system has failed women who are victims of sexual abuse, according to a 32-yearold HIV-positive woman, who has been a repeat victim of gang rape.
The woman, Martha*, told The Star that since 2015 she has been gang-raped twice in the greater Joburg area by a total of five men between the two incidents.
“I am stressed, I am trying to move on, but I can’t. I am living a hard life where I am constantly fearing for my life,” she said.
Martha opened her first reported case of rape on September 28, 2015, according to Jeppe police station spokesperson Captain Richard Munyai. He said the case was closed last August after an investigation of two suspects.
“A case of kidnapping and rape has been closed by the court,” Munyai said. One suspect was found not guilty, and there was insufficient evidence to charge the other, he added.
National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Phindi Louw Mjonondwane confirmed that the case was placed on the roll in the Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court on September 28.
The former electrical engineering student told The Star that in 2016 in Natalspruit, Ekurhuleni, for the second time after moving away from her Doornfontein home.
She had moved to start her life afresh until she was met with her second incident of gang rape.
“There were three guys. The first suspect was found by the police, but the second suspect was identified by myself during the court proceedings.” “I think he went to court because he thought that I wasn’t going to be able to identify him. Luckily, there was something that told me to look behind me in the court gallery. I told the court that that was the second suspect.
“The third suspect I was unable to identify, but all I know is that there were three of them,” she said.
Katlehong South police station spokesperson Captain Mega Ndobe confirmed that three suspects between the ages of 20 and 30 were arrested in connection with a rape charge.
According to Ndobe, the investigating officers suspected that the woman had a mental condition. “Through the statement given by the woman, they were under the impression that she might have to go for a mental check-up,” he said. Ndobe said the investigation was continuing. The suspects had been released, but they could be rearrested after Martha’s evaluation, he added. He acknowledged that Martha was unhappy when she found out about the court’s decision.
Martha maintains that she does not have a mental condition. However, she said she had been seeing a psychologist to process the gang-rape ordeals she has experienced.
“I completely disagree with the police saying I am mentally challenged. That is not right. Who are they to say that?
“I feel like the Department of Justice is not playing a role in solving my cases. It’s not fair. Instead of protecting the victims of rape, the department is giving rights to the perpetrators. They are silencing the rights of women and the vulnerable,” she said. *Not her real name
The law is giving rights to the perpetrators