two teenagers raped

Masoka Dube

Masoka Dube

Two girls from Saselane village in Bushbuckridge, Mpumalanga, live in fear after they revealed the identity of one of the men who raped them to neighbours.

The 13-year-old girls took their neighbours to the home of their alleged rapist and positively pointed him out as one of the men who had raped them.

Vusi Mhlongo, one of the neighbours who accompanied the girls, said: "When the suspect saw the teenagers he started to panic. The girls immediately identified him as one of their assailants.

"He ran away and we called the police, who promised to call us back - but that has not happened."

Mhlongo said the teenagers were afraid because they believe if the suspects are left roaming the streets they will be killed to keep them from giving evidence.

"The girls spend most of their time indoors because they are scared to go outside," Mhlongo said.

The alleged rapist, whose name is known to Sowetan, reportedly intimidated the people who assisted the girls when they went to point him out.

Another resident, Thabo Mabu, said the girls were raped a week ago but no arrests had been made.

"We won't hesitate to take the police to the suspect's home," Mabu said.

Meanwhile, the families of the young girls are furious because they believe the police are not doing enough to arrest the alleged perpetrators.

"What makes us adamant that the man was involved in the alleged rape is the fact that he was wearing the same leather jacket he wore when the alleged rape took place," said a family member who did not want to be named.

The teenagers told police investigators that they were standing at the gate when two men emerged, pointed guns at them and dragged them to the nearby bushes, where they raped them for several hours. They were freed in the early hours of the morning.

A case was opened at the Bushbuckridge police station but the suspects have not been arrested.

Mpumalanga police spokes-man Superintendent Abie Khoabane advised the families of the victims to go and see the station commissioner or the head of detectives at the police station.

He said they should tell them that they know the suspect and the victims are willing to testify.