'I screamed for help for hours, but nobody came'

'CRIME SCENE': Police spokesman Tshepo Mofokeng in the cell where the alleged rape took place. Pic. Vathiswa Ruselo. 31/08/2008. © Sowetan.
'CRIME SCENE': Police spokesman Tshepo Mofokeng in the cell where the alleged rape took place. Pic. Vathiswa Ruselo. 31/08/2008. © Sowetan.

Zinhle Mapumulo

Zinhle Mapumulo

The teenage girl who was allegedly gang-raped in police cells screamed for help for hours but nobody came to her rescue.

The four men who allegedly raped her took advantage of the fact that the cops on duty were asleep and the doors thick enough to muffle her screams.

In a twist of events, police claim the 19-year-old from Galeshewe in Kimberley is lying.

She was never raped in their holding cells, police say.

"We never place men and women in the same cells," said police spokesman Tshepo Mofokeng.

"If the girl was raped it happened elsewhere before she was arrested for being drunk."

The teenager, on the other hand, is adamant that had it not been for police negligence and arrogance, she would not have been raped.

"I asked the policeman if this was not a men's cell because I saw men's clothing hanging on bars.

"He said it wasn't and he pushed me inside, saying it made no difference as I looked and acted like a tomboy. He then closed the gate."

The teenager said while she was still shocked by the policeman's insults, she heard male voices coming from the other side of the cell.

"I went to investigate and found seven men smoking what looked like dagga. One of them was my neighbour. He asked me why I was there.

"I told him I was arrested for being drunk," said the teenager.

"He then said he had always wanted me to be his girlfriend, and that I should have sex with him. He told me to undress and I refused. His three friends were already standing next to us at that time."

"We argued and he started pulling off my jacket and his friends helped him.

"He was the first one to rape me. I screamed for help but nobody heard me," she wept.

The teenager says that another man tried to stop the four from raping her. But they did not stop.

She said when she was released the next day, she reported the incident to the police.

She was taken to the Kimberley Hospital for medical treatment and later returned to the police station where she pointed out the four men who had allegedly raped her. She also pointed out the cell where the incident took place.

Asked how the teenager was able to point at the cell and insist it was where she was gang-raped, Mofokeng responded: "Cells are all the same, she may have just pointed at any cell."

He, however, failed to say if the four men were detained in the same cell or not.

"We don't keep records of which cells detainees are placed in. We just have to wait for DNA results," said Mofokeng.

The results are expected to be released later this week.

The four men appeared in the Kimberley magistrate's court last Monday.