‘Rape gang’ in court



November 21, 2016
‘Rape gang’ in court

Suspects' families outside the Wynberg Court. CREDIT: Ayanda Ndamane / Daily Voice

Victim, 13, forced into a shack at gunpoint and attacked by 10 men.

A shocked court heard how a 13-year-old girl was gang-raped by 10 men who forced her into a shack at gunpoint in Nyanga.

Police are still on the hunt for three of the attackers.

On Friday, seven suspects appeared at the Wynberg Magistrates’ Court on rape and abduction charges.

Mvelashe Gqakaza, 20, Mandilakhe Mbikwana, 19, Sibusiso Sozawe, 18, Sibabalwe Mzuzo, 20, Bonga Makunga, 18, Thamsanqa Mbabothi, 19, and Lwazi Mcosana, 19, were arrested last week Wednesday.

State Prosecutor Nangamso Matta said the men were arrested after the teenager pointed them out to cops.

Emotions ran high as the accused’s relatives packed the courtroom eager to see them.

One by one the men walked into court and burst into tears along with their parents in the public gallery.

All the accused said they would arrange private lawyers to represent them.

Prosecutor Matta said the victim was walking home at 8pm on Robert Sobukwe Road on Friday, November 11, when she was approached by one of the accused.

“The victim was walking alone when she was pointed with a firearm and taken to a shack,” Matta explained.

“One man raped her and as the others held her legs, more men arrived and in total 10 men raped her.

“She was then taken to two other shacks and raped some more there.

“There are currently three suspects outstanding that still need to be added to this case.

“So far the bail information of the accused before court shows that they all have fixed addresses and no outstanding matters.”

Magistrate Goolam Bawa addressed the teary-eyed group: “Each one of you faces a charge of rape. It is a very serious offence which carries a possible sentence of life in prison if you were to be found guilty.”

He then postponed the matter to November 25 for legal representation and bail information.

Outside court, kwaad family members of the accused swore at journalists and warned not to publish suspects’ names.

The victim’s family refrained from the media.

Chairperson for the Nyanga CPF, Martin Makhasi, says the community is shocked by the attack, and wants justice.

“The arrest of these young men needs to send a strong message to others that one cannot just go out and have their way with someone just because they feel like it,” he tells the Daily Voice.

“It is barbaric and cannot be tolerated it our communities.”

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