‘JUST GET OUT OF HERE’

Observer on Saturday - - News - By Non­duduzo Kunene *NB: Not her real name

ven though the world is com­mem­o­rat­ing 16 Days of Ac­tivism Against Gen­der Based Vi­o­lence, women still suf­fer abuse at the hands of their so-called bet­ter halves. Celiwe*(24) was raped by her boyfriend but does not want to re­port him to the po­lice.

The rape sur­vivor is still shocked by what her boyfriend did to her. She said on the day of the in­ci­dent, she had told him that she was not feel­ing well but this fell on deaf ears.

“I re­fused so many times be­cause I was gen­uinely not feel­ing well. He pushed me to the floor and ripped apart my un­der­wear,” she said.

She wanted to fight him but he over­pow­ered

EAr­rest

ne of the land­lord’s sons Ma­jor Sih­la­belo (33) says Sha­bangu has not paid rent over the past year and she uses the al­le­ga­tions as an ex­cuse not to leave. “A monthly rental fee is E600 and this means Sha­bangu owes us E7 200, ex­clud­ing the rent that she never both­ered her­self with while we were away,” he said. Sih­la­belo said the fam­ily lived in South Africa for years and Sha­bangu was re­quested by their fa­ther to over­see the home and col­lect rent from the other ten­ants. He said over the past years, she would send the other ten­ants’ rental fees, ex­clud­ing hers. He said when some mem­bers

Oher. He also threat­ened to kill her if she screamed.

“He then pushed me to the bed and pro­ceeded to rape me. As he was rap­ing me, I couldn’t be­lieve what the fa­ther of my child was do­ing,” she said.

When Celiwe was asked why she did not re­port the mat­ter to the po­lice, she said her son is the rea­son. “What about my son?” she asked.

She said an­other rea­son why she was re­luc­tant to re­port the mat­ter is that she is un­em­ployed and as such, she fears that in the event her ‘baby daddy’is ar­rested, no­body will pro­vide for her and her child.

“My baby daddy is the only bread­win­ner. If he gets ar­rested, who is go­ing to look after me and my son? of their fam­ily headed back home last year; they re­quested her to va­cate their home. How­ever, Sih­la­belo al­leged that their ten­ant re­fused to leave and told them she has done so much to de­velop the place.

“That fam­ily is not trust­wor­thy, we re­quested them to over­see things be­cause she was the old­est ten­ant and we thought she will man­age things prop­erly. How­ever, she used to send short rental fee and fur­ther ex­clude hers,” he said.

More­over, Sih­la­belo said when they came back to Eswa­tini, they were wel­comed by spine chill­ing ru­mours that their well trusted ten­ant has been mur­der­ing chil­dren and fur­ther buried them at their home.

“We went to the place where Be­sides, I do not want my son to grow up with­out a fa­ther, “she said.

She fur­ther said that she would not for­give her­self if her son would be stig­ma­tised by so­ci­ety over his fa­ther’s wrong do­ings.

“What if my son is dis­crim­i­nated by so­ci­ety and peo­ple tell them that I caused his fa­ther to be ar­rested.”

She nar­rated that after the trau­matic ex­pe­ri­ence, her baby daddy later apol­o­gised to her.

“After the rape in­ci­dent, he apol­o­gised to me for hours and as­sured me that he will never do it again. He said he did not know what got into him,” she said.

Swazi­land Ac­tion Group Against Abuse (SWAGAA) Com­mu­ni­ca­tions and Ad­vo­cacy Of­fi­cer Slin­dele Nkosi said it is very sad that such cases are un­re­ported. it was ru­moured she buried the chil­dren and we found a hand­ful of graves which looked like heaps of soil. The po­lice were con­tacted by my younger brother and they came to in­ves­ti­gate the mat­ter,” he said.

He said after weeks of spec­u­la­tion, they de­cided to let go of the mat­ter as it seemed what they saw were ac­tu­ally not graves but just heaps of soil.

How­ever, Sih­la­belo de­nied ever abus­ing the wi­dow emo­tion­ally and call­ing her names. He said they just told her that it was time to va­cate the premises as she has not paid rent for years. He added that Sha­bangu pleaded with them and re­quested to pack all her be­long­ings and head out by the end of this month.

Re­port

“It is so sad that women are raped daily by their lovers and do not re­port such cases. As SWAGAA, we do not con­done such acts. If some­one closer to you forces them­selves on you, you ought to re­port that in­ci­dent be­cause this will oc­cur re­peat­edly. In such cases, you will find that the sur­vivor ends up com­mit­ting sui­cide. Mostly, the per­pe­tra­tor may be­come a se­rial rapist if he is not ap­pre­hended or held re­spon­si­ble for such an evil act,” she said.

Nkosi said it is com­mon for women not to re­port their hus­bands or part­ners. Mostly, in sit­u­a­tions whereby the male is the only bread­win­ner, women turn to make ex­cuses for their part­ners. This is be­cause they fear los­ing their sole provider.

“I would like to urge the nation to re­port such crimes. We should not be

“We are wait­ing for her to pack and leave, it is not that we do not ap­pre­ci­ate all that she has done for the fam­ily while we were away but that home was never hers. Now she be­haves as if the Sih­la­belo home is hers, she does not pay rent and she dis­re­spects our fa­ther; the very same per­son who asked her to tem­po­rar­ily take care of the home,” he said.

He said they do not wish to in­volve the po­lice on the mat­ter but have asked her re­spect­fully to go and look for an­other place to live. Sih­la­belo added that it is not fair for them to live in fear at their own home­stead be­cause they do not know what she might do to them to avoid be­ing ex­pelled from the home. re­ceiv­ing such news dur­ing the 16 Days of Ac­tivism Against Gen­der Based Vi­o­lence,” she said.

Chief Po­lice In­for­ma­tion and Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Of­fi­cer Su­per­in­ten­dent Phindile Vikati said the po­lice are only able to work on such cases if there is tan­gi­ble ev­i­dence.

“In cases like this, the sur­vivor had to re­port the case within 48 hours of the rape so that ev­i­dence can be ob­tained.

Right now, it is her word against his. As you said ear­lier that she is un­will­ing to re­port the mat­ter, there is there­fore noth­ing much that can be done by the po­lice,” she said.

She con­cluded by say­ing that had the sur­vivor been a mi­nor, an el­derly per­son could have re­ported the case. How­ever, in this in­stance, the sur­vivor is an adult so she has to re­port her­self.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Swaziland

© PressReader. All rights reserved.