Woman, 35, gang raped in Mozambique

2012-02-09 12:03

kalahari.com

Maputo - A 35-year-old woman walked through a field in northern Mozambique, near where a group of teenage boys were undergoing their ritual circumcision into adulthood.

Accusing her of trespassing on sacred ground forbidden to women, the traditional leader meted out his punishment: He ordered 17 of his young initiates to gang rape her.

Four of the youths were arrested, but no trial date has been set, Delfino Jose, from Mozambique's unit for crimes against women told AFP. In Mozambique, many court cases simple fall off the radar and never go to trial.

The case has ripped open a searing debate about women and tradition, in a country lauded for advancing women in politics. The previous prime minister and current parliament head are women, as are 39% of lawmakers. Mozambique won the African Gender Award for promoting women in 2009.

But this is just window-dressing in a nation where women suffer brutal attacks, said activist Gilberto Macuacua.

In January a man in central Mozambique cut off his wife's arm with a machete when she confronted him about his affair with her cousin. Last year a man pierced his wife's vagina with a bayonet, then sewed it shut.

"Men still aren't ready to see women as people with the same rights as men," Macuacua said. "There is little or no knowledge of human rights, especially women's rights."

"There are many women in parliament, but most don't exert much pressure," he added.

Award-winning health journalist Pedro Nacuo justified the gang rape in a column, saying the woman had repeatedly trespassed on purpose.

Hospital staff treated her like an attempted suicide case, assuming she knew the consequences of walking in the area, he said.

Law on domestic violence

"The nurses... treated her as they would treat someone who deliberately steps in front of a car to be run over," he wrote in the state-run Noticias newspaper.

"No one condemns, morally or traditionally, the punishment applied to this lady, although severe, because our institutions are made up of people who know how to deal with these issues," he said.

Women's rights organisation Muleide defended the mother of five, saying she was walking to her crops and didn't realise it was close to an initiation site.

"This case recalls the collective rape of a young woman ordered by a tribal council in a rural area of Pakistan in 2002," said a coalition of six advocacy groups in a statement.

"Contrary to the journalist's conservative, sexist and Talibanist views, authorities have to intervene in this case," the coalition said following Nacuo's statements.

Nacuo declined to comment to the "uninitiated", but has branded his critics as lackeys of foreign donors.

Mozambique in 2009 passed a law on domestic violence. In a survey three years earlier, more than half the respondents had been victims of physical or sexual violence. Experts say the real figure is probably higher.

"It's unbelievable, because we have many formal instruments which guarantee equality, but then we encounter resistance to implement them, incompetence and complicity of the institutions that should do this," said anthropologist Maria Jose Arthur from Women and Law in Southern Africa.

"There's a lot of resistance to administer this law because people have prejudices," she told AFP.

Macuacua agreed: "When a woman does speak, it's a type of threat. Women cannot speak."

Read more on:    mozambique  |  southern africa  |  circumcision  |  women abuse
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
10 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
 

Madonsela to probe ANC food-for-votes claims

Public protector Thuli Madonsela has launched an investigation into whether the ANC has used state resources for its electoral campaign, says a report.

 
 

Latest elections multimedia

Why Jack Parow wants you to vote on 7 May
The ad the SABC doesn't want to air
Elections 2014 in one cartoon
This year's election posters
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Thursday Sir Lowry's Pass - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Old Sir Lowrys Pass Road
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Bezweni Road
  • Thursday Cape Town - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Buitengracht Street
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Waterkant Street
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as kalahari.com’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Samsung Galaxy Tab P7500 10.1" Tablet With WiFi & 3G

Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 gives you a better experience for...

From R4999.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may be good at organising events but they do take their toll on your energy levels. You may need some time out today just to...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.