Raped teens, 13, live in fear

Masoka Dube

Masoka Dube

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

The 13-year-old girls took their neighbours to the home of a man 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.

He said the teenagers were afraid because they believed if the suspects were left roaming the streets they would kill them to prevent them from giving evidence.

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

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 is the fact that he was wearing the same leather jacket he wore when the incident 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.

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.