Sun Oct 23 05:23:51 SAST 2016

'naked' hostel woman fears for her life

By unknown | May 20, 2009 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Mhlaba Memela

A woman who was forced to flee naked from her room at a hostel says her "humiliation" was sparked by political in-fighting between ANC and Cope members at Glebelands hostel near Umlazi.

Thembisa Pobo told Sowetan yesterday that she was in hiding because "people are threatening to kill me" for speaking out.

She has laid a charge of indecent assault at the local police station. She claims that a group of men armed with knobkerries - allegedly ANC supporters - attacked her at the weekend.

She said the attackers came while she was in her room at the hostel on Saturday morning.

Pobo said she was forced to run out with only a towel wrapped around her waist. The towel fell off while she was fleeing.

"The men kicked down my door and forced me out.

"They stood there laughing while I tried to get away. I am afraid and in hiding," she said.

She claimed that the attack came as ANC members gathered for a meeting "to purge the hostel of Cope supporters".

The hostel is tense and the police are keeping a close watch.

Cope provincial secretary Phillip Mhlongo the ANC.

"We have warned our members not to take the law into their own hands," Mhlongo said.

"There is a known local warlord who continues to attack Cope members. He paraded the woman naked."

ANC acting provincial secretary Sihle Zikalala denied that ANC members were involved in the attack on Cope members.

"We do not know that ANC members were involved in that but the report we received is that community members in general were dealing with criminal elements in the hostel.

"As ANC we do not encourage violence or intimidation of any kind," he said.

Police spokesperson Director Phindile Radebe said police reinforcements had been sent to the affected area.

"The Police are deployed in the area around the clock," Radebe said.

"A case of indecent assault and public violence is being investigated."

This is not the first time a woman has been forced to parade naked in public.

Zandile Mpanza, also of Umlazi, was allegedly assaulted by a group of men at the Seventeen men's hostel for wearing pants. Mpanza's home was vandalised and she was forced to seek accommodation with relatives.


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