Mother’s Day rape vic­tim wants to drop charges

The Star Late Edition - - FRONT PAGE - LINDILE SIFILE AND PUSELETSO LUTSOISA @lindile­si­file

THE woman who was al­legedly raped by a group of about 15 il­le­gal min­ers in the North West on Mother’s Day is con­sid­er­ing drop­ping the case out of fear her fam­ily’s safety.

She says po­lice failed to take photos of the crime scene or col­lect crit­i­cal DNA ev­i­dence from it, which by now might have been washed away by the re­cent rains.

The mar­ried mother of two said po­lice have not guar­an­teed her safety from the feared il­le­gal min­ers, who have been ter­ror­is­ing her com­mu­nity of Muz­imuhle and sur­round­ing ar­eas in Orkney and Klerks­dorp.

The po­lice are yet to in­ter­view any key wit­nesses, such as the owner of the shebeen in James Mot­latsi Hos­tel where the woman was thrown out to­gether with her soon-to-be at­tack­ers min­utes be­fore she was dragged to a nearby bush and raped.

She had gone to the shebeen hop­ing to catch her cheat­ing hus­band but its owner was ready to close for the night when she ar­rived.

“My panties, tights and belt are prob­a­bly still at the spot where they raped me. They were so drunk that they did not care where they ejac­u­lated and their DNA was left there but chances are it has now washed away be­cause the po­lice have not gone to the crime scene,” the 29-year-old woman said.

The shebeen owner, who only wants to be iden­ti­fied as Michael, con­firmed that po­lice have not yet in­ter­viewed him. He did not want to talk fur­ther and hung up the phone.

The woman yes­ter­day did not want to go through the de­tails of her har­row­ing or­deal that took place on Sun­day morn­ing in a bush less than 1km from her house, say­ing she was still traumatised.

She and her hus­band be­gan trauma coun­selling on Tues­day at Tshep­isong Hos­pi­tal.

“Peo­ple have been com­ing to our house forc­ing my wife to re­live her at­tack. Enough is enough now. We are all hurt here. How will telling you her story help her heal or re­sult in the pros­e­cu­tion of her at­tack­ers? You will all go to your homes leav­ing us be­hind at the mercy of the zama-za­mas,” the hus­band said.

The woman said po­lice have al­ready told them that the in­ves­ti­ga­tion could end up be­ing a “cold case as it would be dif­fi­cult to catch the per­pe­tra­tors”.

“They said it’s dif­fi­cult to solve cases linked to il­le­gal min­ers be­cause they are scared of them as they are armed. Two of­fi­cers came to my house on Mon­day ask­ing me to point out the crime scene to them. I said I can drive with them but I’d only point it out while I’m in the car be­cause I don’t want il­le­gal min­ers to see me,” she said.

“They said that would not work and they would rather drop the case be­cause there won’t be ev­i­dence to pre­sent in court. Hon­estly, I don’t care any­more. I just want to feel safe even though po­lice can­not guar­an­tee that to me. Pur­su­ing this case only puts my fam­ily’s life at risk,” she said.

Orkney po­lice sta­tion com­man­der Lieu­tenant Colonel Hans Baden­horst said po­lice had been to the crime scene to take photos which he could not pro­duce.

He added that there has been a rise of crime near the No3 shaft where the at­tack hap­pened. “We mostly catch peo­ple in pos­ses­sion of stolen items such as cop­per which they had stripped from the shaft,” said Baden­horst.

Muz­imuhle ward coun­cil­lor Khaya Nd­incede blamed Har­mony Gold, which bought sev­eral mines in the area from An­gloGold Ashanti, for not pro­vid­ing ad­e­quate se­cu­rity like its pre­de­ces­sor did.

Har­mony Gold owns the James Mot­latsi Hos­tel, which is now known for hous­ing il­le­gal min­ers and un­li­censed she­beens.

“Zama-za­mas have been caus­ing havoc here and we have no con­trol be­cause po­lice can­not give us pro­tec­tion. This is made worse be­cause we no longer have pri­vate se­cu­rity from An­gloGold. We have been call­ing for raids at the hos­tel and they are only do­ing it to­day (yes­ter­day) af­ter we made noise about that lady’s gang rape,” he said.

Har­mony Gold of­fi­cial Sihle Maake con­firmed the in­ci­dent and called for the po­lice to find the per­pe­tra­tors.

“We are aware of the in­ci­dent and our in­ves­ti­ga­tors have been work­ing closely with the SAPS on the mat­ter and can con­firm that the in­ci­dent did not take place at Har­mony premises,” he said.

Enough is enough. We are all hurt here...

DAN­GER­OUS: The scene where a woman was al­legedly gan­graped by 15 il­le­gal min­ers.

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