'brother raped me'

Canaan Mdletshe

A 17-year-old grade 12 pupil from Mandeni, north of Durban, has been forced to drop out of school after she was brutally raped by her biological brother, allegedly infecting her with the HI virus.

As if that was not enough, her own mother allegedly paid bail for her brother's release.

Her brother and mother have since left her alone and are nowhere to be found.

Relating her sordid ordeal to Sowetan, the victim said her nightmare began in January when she was attacked and raped by her brother.

"I had just returned from a school trip on a Saturday morning when my brother asked me to prepare food for him. I made him food, but then he complained that it was too little."

She said an argument broke out and her brother grabbed an electric cord and started assaulting her.

"He tied me up with the cord and raped me," she said.

"It was the worst experience of my life because I had never had sex with a man before.

"Actually, I was a virgin who frequently undertook virginity tests during the Reed Ceremony at the king's Nyokeni Palace in Nongoma."

She said she contacted her mother who told her to wait for her.

"Knowing my mother, I decided to go to the police station to report the matter," she said.

"At the station, I was taken to a district surgeon who confirmed the incident and gave me tablets to prevent me from falling pregnant."

When her mother returned home later in the day, she fought with her for "taking your own decision to open such a horrible case against your own brother".

"The worst was that when I went to a clinic the following month I was told that I was HIV-positive.

"It was very difficult for me to accept my status since I was a virgin before the incident."

Her mother later returned home with her brother, took all they needed and left her all by herself.

"My mother told me that she could not live with an HIV-positive person and they left," she said.

The girl has not heard from them since February.

"I have nowhere to go, or no one to turn to. I have tried finding a job, but the problem is that I don't have an ID."

Provincial MEC for social development Meshack Hadebe said he would intervene and help her with essential needs such as food.

Provincial police spokesman Superintendent Vincent Mdunge promised to investigate.

Mandeni chief prosecutor Philly Sibeko said they would work with all people involved in the case to find out what actually happened.

"But one thing for certain is that the mother will be charged with child abuse and neglect, which is a criminal offence," said Sibeko.