Gender Links (Johannesburg)

Lesotho: It Happened Once, but I Will Never Forget

On the 28th of July 2012, we were walking from a funeral and it was dark. I was with two other women, and it was not that dark because other people were still walking around. Whilst we were walking we heard somebody whistling, but we did not hear where it was coming from, so we just continued on our journey.

When we got to the mountain, we walked through and we saw a person standing where we were supposed to pass. We were so afraid, especially because it was dark, but when he realised we saw him, he hid himself in a nearby bush. We tried to walk very fast so that he would not see us anymore, but he was very clever because he was hiding where we were going to pass.

When we passed him, he hooted at us again and asked us to stop. We did not listen to that, so we ran very fast. When he saw that we were running, he started to run very fast after us, we all ran together, but unfortunately I fell down and they left me behind. That was when he caught me. I was so afraid and crying. I was begging for his mercy, but he was not listening to anything, he grabbed my jacket very hard and asked who I was and I told him. He said I should accompany him, to where I did not know. How could I accompany somebody I did not know and at night? He did not listen to me, he just pushed me and told me that I was going with him.

He was poking me with a big stick in my stomach, he was doing it very hard and it was so so painful. We walked a very long distance until we got to a bush. He just put me down and he told me that he was going to kill me if I did not cooperate.

was shaking and praying at the same time. I was so afraid. He asked me to cover my face with my jacket and said I should take off all of my clothes. He said in a deep voice "you should erase everything you hear from me, everything." I was crying when I took off all my clothes and while I was covering my face. He then put me down and he raped me. It was really the nightmare of my life. I have never felt that way in my entire life.

When he was done he told me to put my clothes on again, but I was still covering my face. I did not know how I did that, but I put them on. He told me that he was taking me where there was a dam so that I could wash myself. It was very dark and the water was very cold. He told me to wash my self everywhere. It was very cold and the water was worse. I was bathing while he stood there just next to me. When I was done he ordered me to go. I was crying and I ran like there was no tomorrow. I was afraid and thought he would come and rape me again. When I got home I did not know how to tell my husband.

I was just crying and he tried to calm me down and asked me what happened. I told him and he took me to the Chief, we reported the matter to the Chief. The next morning, my husband and some other men went to the place where it happened and luckily they found him. They took him to the police and he was arrested for rape. As I am writing this story now he is behind bars.

This story is part of the "I" Stories series produced by the Gender Links Opinion and Commentary Service for the Sixteen Days of Activism on Gender Violence.

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