21 February 2013

South Africa: Rape 'Out of Control' in E Cape Village

Photo: GCIS
South Africans campaigning against sexual violence.

Lusikisiki — Two men, aged 26 and 30, late one night last week forced their way into 10-year-old Nasiphi’s* home in the Bazana location in the Eastern Cape and raped her.

"One of them wore a balaclava and told me to take my skirt and jersey off,” Nasiphi told OurHealth. “I screamed and called my mother, but they pulled me outside where both men raped me and left me in the nearby bush."

Nasiphi’s mother said: "When I realised what had happened I went to wake neighbours who blew a whistle alerting the community that there is a problem. About ten men searched the area and found one of the accused in an empty house."

Nasiphi was taken to the St Elizabeth Hospital in Lusikisiki where she received a rape kit and was examined at the Thuthuzela Rape Centre. She also received HIV counselling and post-exposure prophylaxis to ward off potential HIV infection.

"She is distressed and traumatised by the experience she went through," said Nasiphi’s mother who was very upset.

Another Bazana community member, Nomsa Ntswayibana said: "Every parent loves his or her child and want them to be prosperous and happy. Justice needs to be served".

"Child sexual abuse is a complex phenomenon, which deprives their human rights, dignity and chilhood. Rape is a wide spread and a serious health issue in the Eastern Cape," commented Zukile Madikizela, a community mobilise for the Treatment Action Campaign.

The suspect was taken into police custody and a case was opened. "Rape in the area is out of control,” said the investigating officer. “Drastic measures need to be taken to combat this, and we need community support by reporting these incidents so that the culprits will not go free."

* Not her real name

Story by Tandeka Vinjwa-Hlongwane, an OurHealth Citizen Journalist reporting from Lusikisiki in the OR Tambo health district in the Eastern Cape.

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