A COP’S comment has sparked riots after he said a woman who was gang-raped was lucky it only happened once.
Hundreds of furious locals took the streets following the rape of eight models who were ambushed by a gang while filming a music video in Krugersdorp, Johannesburg.
The women, aged between 19 and 37 were raped up to ten times each
The horror case that has shocked South Africa has sparked outrage, calling for the chemical castration of convicted sex offenders.
And the fury escalated after Police Minister Bheki Cele said one of the victims was “lucky to have been raped once”.
He said on live TV:” One woman was raped by ten different men.
“The other one by eight, the other one by six, the other one by four, the other by three.
“The 19-year-old was lucky – if it is lucky – to have been raped by one man as opposed to several men”.
His comment has caused outrage among South Africans with the DA calling for him to be removed from office.
The horrific incident has led demonstrators to clash with police in the town of West Rand, where 126 people were arrested.
Protesters pelted cops with rocks and bottles and the police returned fire with rubber bullets.
South Africa has the third highest rape figures in the world.
The brutal attack took place on July 28, at a disused mine in Krugersdorp, where production crew Red Button was filming a gospel music video.
The models and crew were ambushed by a heavily armed group of “illegal” miners, known as zama zamas.
After ordering everyone to lie down the men started taking the women one by one into the bushes to gang rape them.
The gang also took their mobile phones, jewellery, bags, cash and filming equipment.
The women’s nightmare lasted for hours with some being raped up to ten times while the men of the crew were stripped naked and held at gunpoint.
Two sisters aged 19 and 21 who accepted the £15 a day job to model in the music video have revealed in excruciating detail the horrific moments they suffered at the hands of their abusers.
19-year-old Nomboniso, whose name has been changed, told local paper City Press: ”We were excited when a local girl who runs a modelling agency told us about the photo shoot and promised us R300 each (£15) at a farm in Krugersdorp.
“Then it was decided to shoot another part at a mine and the place was beautiful then as we were about to film the last scene men began running at us firing gunshots in the air.
“They ordered everyone to lie down and more men came running out and they all had guns and they started searching us taking our phones and clothes and cameras.”
She continued by explaining how the men dragged them into a car and raped them while her older sister said the men threatened to kill her if she didn’t do as they said.
She added: “It was a very traumatic experience which lasted about four hours for all the girls and one of the ladies was raped in front of us”.
Another rape victim said she tried hiding in a tree for an hour but to no avail- she was also raped by four men.
The woman whose modelling agency organised the group of eight women to film rising star Malvery Martin’s music video said she offered herself to the gang to save the girls.
She said:” The parents trust me and every time I go out they expect me to take care of their children.
“I was blaming myself if it wasn’t for me these girls wouldn’t be there.
“I felt responsible and wanted to take all the pain so that they wouldn’t touch the girls.”
She added that the older men kept would “force” the younger ones to rape them.
The victims will be tested for HIV and sexually transmitted diseases and are undergoing counselling and have returned to their families in Johannesburg.
The crime sparked a massive police operation involving hundreds of armed officers, dogs, airwing, drones and helicopters.
Police are looking for the men responsible for 32 rapes of eight girls and armed robbery.
Some 142 arrests have been made but none have been linked to the gang rapes.
President Cyril Ramaphosa has ordered Police Minister Cele to come down with an iron fist saying:” The perpetrators of this crime must be apprehended and dealt with”.
The zama zamas are known to terrorise, rape, and rob locals while they reopen old closed-down mines in a bid to find missed gold.
The massive police operation is ongoing and it is believed the rapists and armed robbers are amongst those arrested but so far none have been identified.
A South African Police Service source said:” Normally when an illegal immigrant is found they are deported but due to the national outrage an example will have to be made.
“The punishment should act as a deterrent to stop others crossing our borders”.
How you can get help
Women’s Aid has this advice for victims and their families:
- Always keep your phone nearby.
- Get in touch with charities for help, including the Women’s Aid live chat helpline and services such as SupportLine.
- If you are in danger, call 999.
- Familiarise yourself with the Silent Solution, reporting abuse without speaking down the phone, instead dialing “55”.
- Always keep some money on you, including change for a pay phone or bus fare.
- If you suspect your partner is about to attack you, try to go to a lower-risk area of the house – for example, where there is a way out and access to a telephone.
- Avoid the kitchen and garage, where there are likely to be knives or other weapons. Avoid rooms where you might become trapped, such as the bathroom, or where you might be shut into a cupboard or other small space.
If you are a victim of domestic abuse, SupportLine is open Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 6pm to 8pm on 01708 765200. The charity’s email support service is open weekdays and weekends during the crisis – email@example.com.
Women’s Aid provides a live chat service – available weekdays from 8am-6pm and weekends 10am-6pm.
You can also call the freephone 24-hour National Domestic Abuse Helpline on 0808 2000 247.