18 June 2019

South Africa: 'They Betrayed My Trust' - Rape Survivor Reacts to Her Rapists' Sentencing

"They betrayed my trust. I am relieved that they will never do to another woman what they did to me."

These were the words a 29-year-old rape survivor said in reaction to the sentencing of her two attackers, who were sentenced in the Pretoria Magistrate's Court last week. They were each sentenced to life in prison.

According to the police, the victim and her friend were locked out of their flat in Sunnyside, Pretoria after they returned from a nightclub on the morning of Heritage Day, September 24, in 2016.

They were approached by two men who offered them shelter until later that morning.

"The friend became sceptical and separated from the [rest] when she realised that they had been walking for a while without reaching the 'shelter'," Sunnyside police spokesperson Captain Daniel Mavimbela said.

The victim said she trusted the men because one of them spoke Sepedi. She felt safe because she was also from Limpopo.

Besides the life imprisonment sentences imposed on the accused for the repeated rape of the then-27-year-old woman, both Bongani Mojange (34) and Tebogo Kgofela (29) are expected to serve additional seven-year jail terms for robbing her of cash and a cellphone during an ordeal that lasted more than two hours near an abandoned house in Sunnyside, Mavimbela said.

Tshwane district police commander, Major General Daniel Mthombeni, commended Sergeant Hazel Claasen, who handled the case.

"In spite of this achievement, we need to caution women to be wary of strangers who befriend them inside nightclubs, taverns or even at parties," Mthombeni added.


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