‘JUST GET OUT OF HERE’
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
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.
“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.