Woman offered ‘any price’ for her silence
THE family of a suspected rapist has allegedly offered to pay a Piketberg woman “any price” for her silence.
The 26-year-old woman, whose name the Cape Times is withholding, said a married man offered her a lift home from a party earlier this month, but instead of driving her home, he drove to an isolated part of the West Coast town and raped her.
She said she went home after the assault, but after a few minutes crying alone in her room, she decided to tell her parents what happened.
She said they immediately took her to the hospital, and then reported the crime.
After about a day of intimidation from the rapist’s family, she said she withdrew the charge, which left her with sleepless nights.
“I would lay in my bed and think of how I am suffering while he is allowed to go on with his life. I went back to the police station and laid the charges again. His family asked me how much money I want not to say anything. They even offered to buy me baby clothes, but I don’t want any of that,” the woman said.
The woman said she knows the suspect.
“We were never friends, but the area is so small, we all know about each other, and I often see him driving around,” she said.
Police spokesperson FC van Wyk said the complainant opened a case of rape for investigation at the Piketberg SAPS.
The woman said the man was arrested last Friday and is expected to appear in court soon.
Rural and Farmworkers Development Organisation director, Bill Claasen, said the crime would not be tolerated.
“We cannot let things like this happen to our women. What makes it worse is that it happened during Women’s Month,” Claasen said.
The reported incident comes during a wave of violent physical assaults on women.
On Friday, Police Minister Fikile Mbalula together with Acting National Police Commissioner, Lieutenant General Lesetja Mothiba, launched the “Action Indaba on GenderBased Violence and Protection of Vulnerable Groups”.
Mbalula said: “This is a significant milestone in the government’s efforts to bring to an end this ongoing scourge against South Africa’s most vulnerable citizens.
“This policy provides the South African Police Service with important instructions on how to behave, what to do, how to do it on issues of sexual offences and domestic violence, and for enhancing the delivery of high quality services to communities.”
He said the policy will also give communities and vulnerable groups understanding of their rights and expectations.
“We are duty bound to ensure that all South Africans feel safe, at home, school, work, or in their communities.”
I laid the charges again. His family asked me how much money I wanted