Labour unions condemn gang rape and robbery at Krugersdorp music video shoot

31 July 2022 - 09:30
By Philani Nombembe
Labour unions have added their voice to growing condemnation of a rape and robbery incident in Krugersdorp.
Image: SAPS Labour unions have added their voice to growing condemnation of a rape and robbery incident in Krugersdorp.

The Independent Policing Union of SA (Ipusa) and National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) have condemned the gang rape and robbery of eight women during a music video shoot in Krugersdorp on Thursday.

Police and security companies, accompanied by Gauteng commissioner Lt-Gen Elias Mawela, descended on West Village on Friday after reports of a gang rape. A production company’s crew had allegedly been attacked. Eighty-two people have been arrested since the incident. They have been charged with contravening the Immigration Act. 

Police spokesperson Brig Brenda Muridili said two other suspects were shot dead after allegedly pointing firearms during police operations. Unlicensed firearms, explosives and items belonging to the victims were recovered.

“It is reported that on July 28 in the afternoon, the crew of 22 people (12 women and 10 men) were filming a music video when they were allegedly attacked by a group of armed men clad in blankets. The suspects ordered everyone to lie down and proceeded to rape eight of the women and robbed everyone of their belongings before fleeing the scene.

“The multidisciplinary team comprised of officials from crime intelligence, the special task force, national intervention unit, tactical response team, K9, flying squad, highway patrol, SAPS air wing and tracker helicopter as well as the department of home affairs and other private security stakeholders. The air wing and the deployment of drone technology assisted the ground forces to track the fleeing suspects.”

Muridili said police were investigating 32 counts of rape and a case of armed robbery. On Saturday, Ipusa blamed police for the incident.

“Though suspects are and continue to be traced in the gang rape that took place in Krugersdorp, the lives of eight women victims will never again be the same,” the union said.

“We agree there is a serious shortage of manpower and vehicles, but SAPS can live with the available resources if they plan their activities properly. If SAPS listened when we first called for [an] audit report for material and human resources of the SAPS, who knows, maybe we could have prevented some of these horrible premeditated organised crimes taking place in our country. Criminals are acting with impunity and law-abiding citizens feel terrorised by the absence of SAPS.”

Ipusa listed several incidents it said could have been prevented.

“Those screams from Krugersdorp communities, tavern shooting families, July unrest and the high levels of crimes taking place in our country will haunt SAPS until they do what is right, which is to change the structure to that which will help fight crime.”

The NUM also condemned the incident.

“We appreciate and acknowledge the swift arrest of these monsters that have been terrorising the community of Krugersdorp. We further call upon every South African to stand together in ensuring that these criminals [illegal miners] are not exonerated [sic] to their country [Lesotho] for justice to be served.

“They should be handed over with a heavy sentence in SA prison to send a clear message to all perpetrators that regardless of their nationality, harassment of women and children and the vulnerable is to be a thing of the past.”