Limpopo gang rapes shock police chief
THE spates of gang rape in Limpopo is cause for grave concern, provincial police commissioner Lieutenant-General Simon Mpembe said.
Mpembe expressed shock and dismay after three incidents in which females were allegedly gang-raped recently.
- A 15-year-old girl was raped for nine hours and then offered R10 by her attackers to keep quiet.
On June 30 five boys aged between 15 and 17, and a 20-year-old man, allegedly took turns raping the 15-year-old at Nwajaheni village in Nwamitwa outside Letsitele.
The girl was grabbed from the street at about 7pm and taken to a house belonging to the uncle of one of the accused. There she was subjected to the nine-hour ordeal.
She was released at around 4am the following morning and allegedly offered R10 for her silence, which she rejected.
Two further incidents took place in Seshego near Polokwane on July 6 and in Mara near Makhado on July 15.
In both incidents six people were involved.
- According to Mpembe, the Seshego incident happened when a 30-year-old woman woke up and went to an outside toilet. When she returned home she found two men waiting for her.
They assaulted her and demanded money. The men also took her to a nearby field where they raped her, before calling four of their friends to join in. An amount of R1000 was taken from the woman's room before the men fled.
- The Mara attack involved a 20-year-old woman. She and her friends were visiting a tavern when she was forcibly taken by men who threatened her with a knife.
He said the victim's friend called the police for assistance and they traced the woman and the men to an abandoned two-roomed house near the tavern. She had been raped several times.
According to Mpembe the incidents are a "disregard" for the dignity and rights of the victims.
"These criminals must not for one second think they will get away with this type of deplorable crime," he said.
"As police we will work hand-in-hand with the justice department to ensure that those responsible for these crimes are handed the harshest possible sentences to keep them out of our societies for a very long time," added Mpembe.