Cape Times

Woman offered ‘any price’ for her silence

- Francesca Villette

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

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa