Gang of village drunks rape 16-year-old girl
SIX boys aged between 15 and 17 years have been arrested for raping a 16-year-old village girl in Limpopo.
The boys had apparently been drinking at a local tavern despite being under-age.
Police said they would seek to revoke the tavern's licence for selling alcohol to minor children.
According to police spokesman, Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi, six boys who were drinking at a tavern in Ngwamitwa on Saturday allegedly took turns in raping the girl for nine hours.
The village is in Letsitele, ironically the same area where a female tavern owner was attacked and her husband killed by angry villagers who accused her of refusing to sell liquor to minors.
Christina Shingange, 50, shot and killed two women during a protest at her tavern in Nsako village three weeks ago. Her husband, Bethuel Nganyane, 58, was attacked and set alight when he went to salvage items that were left inside the tavern day after the shooting.
Police arrested 61 people in connection with the killing but all have been released on warning, bar one person who is alleged to have been the mastermind of the attacks.
Mulaudzi said the Ngwamitwa girl was attacked while in the company of a male friend when they were joined by five other boys. She was dragged into an empty house where she was repeatedly raped.
"The victim was raped from 7pm until 4am on Sunday," said Mulaudzi. She eventually escaped through a window and alerted a passerby, who called the police.
"An intensive search was launched and five of the suspects were arrested immediately. The sixth suspect was arrested on Sunday night," Mulaudzi said.
The boys were aged between 15 and 17.
The girl, Mulaudzi said, was taken to a local hospital for medical tests.
"Our investigation had revealed that the perpetrators were seen drinking alcohol at the tavern.
"The case has necessitated a review by us (police) and the Liquor Board to permanently close the business for violating the Liquor Act by allegedly selling liquor to minors," Mulaudzi added.
He said they were investigating six counts of rape and that the boys would appear in the Ritavi Magistrates' Court soon.
Meanwhile, Limpopo police commissioner Lieutenant-General Simon Mpembe, has condemned in the strongest possible terms the gang-rape of the girl.
"The scourge of rape in Limpopo has reached unacceptable levels.
"This despicable crime does not belong to our free and democratic society," said Mpembe.
He said parents should be worried when the scourge of sexual offences against women touched infants, toddlers and young girls.
"In addition to the painful ordeal of rape the girl was forced to endure, the victim is now subjected to a second assault on her dignity," he said.