Zim border: Sexual assault up

2010-05-13 12:39

Johannesburg - The number of sexual assaults reported on the Zimbabwean border has increased by a third, Medecins Sans Frontires (MSF) said on Wednesday.

"From March 1 to May the number of cases treated was 71," said Mashudu Nelufulo, a MSF nurse in Mussina.

This means about 20 people were raped a month, an increase from an average of 15 the previous year.

Of these victims, 45 were female and 26 were male. Fifteen of these were children.

"This is just the tip of the iceberg," said Nelufulo.

Those treated by doctors had all indicated that they knew many more victims who were attacked but did not seek treatment.

MSF said that police were not opening cases of sexual assault because they claimed the attacks were happening on the Zimbabwean side of the border and that the victims did not stay in Mussina long enough for follow-up investigations.

"It looks like nothing has been done to avert that situation," said MSF local director Mickaele Paih.

"It's well known but it's not recognised," he said.