The community of Kanana township in Klerksdorp in the North West says it has been let down by police after no arrests were made in connection with the rape of a 19-year-old woman last month.
The community is accusing local police authorities of failing to act in a fight against gender-based violence. The 19-year-old was raped at her home by three men believed to be members of a gangster group in the township.
This has left the victim traumatized as she often has encounters with the perpetrators.
For its residents, Kanana is place of terror and gangsterism where many women live in fear.
Survivor *Lerato says she lives in constant fear. She was attacked at night in her home by three men wearing balaclavas after breaking a window to enter the house. At the height of the traumatic attack, she was dragged from her home to a nearby open field, where she was raped repeatedly.
It is alleged that although police were called, but they only inspected the crime scene the following day.
“After the incident happened, the police did not take the case serious. And after the rape happens, the police have to collect clothing evidence, but they told us to do it ourselves. When I see the perpetrators, because I know them, it really pains me, because they are not arrested. And now I feel that the police failed me because they did not take my case serious,” says Lerato.
No trust in the justice system
A family member, whose identity has been concealed to protect the victim, has lost trust in the police and the justice system, in fighting gender based violence
“We see very much disappointed in police. We (are) making this appeal to Bheki Cele, the minister, to say we are living in Kanana here, but this Kanana is not the Canaan that you know from the Bible. This is the hell. People are raped; people are killed; people are robbed, almost everyday in this community,” says Lerato.
With gangstersim being a serious concern here, those in fight against gender-based violence have also lost hope.
“Gender-based violence will never end in Kanana because day and night rape takes place. Our grandmothers and children so I don’t see it,” says Mahadio Mogapi, Justice and Peace NOP.
Police arrested three people but released them due to lack of evidence.
“They were questioned, but could not be linked to the case. The victim’s father was duly informed by the investigating officer about the release of the three men. Investigation into the matter is still underway,” says Sabata Mokgwabone, North West Police Spokesperson.
The community earlier questioned one of the alleged perpetrators, who then confessed.
Police say the recording won’t be admissible as the confession was made when the man was held hostage.
It remains to be seen if there will ever be any justice for the young survivor.
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