Second granny (82) raped in one week

EXACTLY a week after a 94-year-old Swayimane grandmother was raped, an 82-year-old granny living in the same area has suffered a similar fate.

The great-grandmother was brutally raped on Saturday night. "I was asleep in my hut when I felt something touching me and when I checked I saw someone blinding me with a light that came from what looked like a cellphone," she said yesterday.

"He then grabbed me, pushed my blankets aside and raped me. I tried to scream but he put his arm around my neck to strangle me."

The granny said when she cried, the man threatened her with a knife.

"It was so painful that even his threats meant nothing at the time.

"I asked him to stop as he was hurting me, but instead he pushed me on the ground and raped me again.

"He did all these terrible acts to me. Even when I was bleeding profusely, he did not stop until he was done. Thereafter, he put the blankets back on me and left.

"I couldn't even get up, let alone walk. But after some time, I managed to gain strength and crawled towards the door ... but I was so scared because I was not sure whether the man was still in the yard or not.

"When I was sure that he was nowhere around, I then forced myself to my daughter-in-law's house," she said.

A week ago, when the woman had heard that a 94-year-old grandmother was raped in front of her two great-grandsons - allegedly by a habitual criminal that was released from prison on President Jacob Zuma's Freedom Day special remission programme - she felt "so sad for the innocent gogo".

"I was just imagining what she went through, but now I know and it is so painful."

At the suspect's first court appearance last week, a group of grannies aged between 62 and 94 years had decided to live together in the village to protect themselves from being attacked.

However, the 82-year-old woman, who lives on the opposite end of the village, was unaware of the arrangement.

Her daughter-in-law yesterday said her two sons, aged 5 and 12 years, usually lived with their grandmother.

But they moved back home during the week. She suspects the attacker had been in the house before.

"When we asked the boys why they suddenly don't want to stay with her, they indicated that they were scared, but did not say why. The younger one, who is so close to his gogo, said they had seen a man with a torch before."

Her father-in-law died 45 years ago.

"I have never seen my mother-in-law so hurt. Gogo has been a pillar of strength in this family. She was able to plough and cook for her great-grandchildren, but since the incident she is always weeping and does not want to leave the house. She is emotionally drained," she said.

The victim's son blamed alcohol and drug abuse for his mother's rape.

"If our taverns were not operating until the wee hours of the morning, this would not have happened," he said.

"I am so hurt and hope whoever did this will be arrested and sentenced to a long time in jail," he said.

The family believes that the rapist had copied the actions of the arrested man.

"It's strange that it happened so soon after the first incident. Why are grannies suddenly being raped in one area?" he asked.

The man accused of raping the 94-year-old woman is expected to apply for bail on Friday.

KwaZulu-Natal police spokesman Captain Thulani Zwane confirmed that a second elderly woman was raped in the village.

Local councillor Mduduzi Goba said: "Three weeks ago, a 16-year-old girl was also raped and beheaded. Last year a granny was raped and stabbed to death," he said.