Stunning rape revelation

2013-08-10 00:00

A MAGISTRATE caused a conference of women judges to gasp when she stood up yesterday and told Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng that she had been a victim of rape.

Noluthando Ndamase (37) has given permission for her name and picture to be published.

Mogoeng was addressing a gathering of mostly women at the conference of the South African Chapter of the International Association of Women Judges at UKZN.

He had finished his speech and was taking questions when Ndamase made the disclosure and pointed out to Mogoeng that all South Africans, even judicial officers, were affected by crime.

Mogoeng sympathised with Ndamase and told her that he and his family had also been the victims of crime while he was judge president in the North West province.

Ndamase later told Weekend Witness that she had been raped, robbed and abducted during the ordeal in Phuthaditjhaba in the Free State in August last year.

She said she had decided to speak out at the conference to encourage other victims not to remain silent.

“I wanted to raise the eyebrows of the people in influential positions. It will empower others who suffered the same so that they know they are not alone and they can overcome the situation regardless,” she said.

Ndamase, who was transferred to Bloem­fontein after the incident, said her attacker had wielded a hand-made knife. “I screamed but he ordered me not to cry or he would kill me.

“He raped me and thereafter took me to my car before dumping me in the boot and driving off. He also took money [about R500] that was in my purse,” she said.

“I was left in the boot the entire day and was found the following evening. I heard footsteps and then banged on the boot until someone asked if there was anybody inside,” said Ndamase, who hails from Mdantsane in the Eastern Cape.

Ndamase, who had been a magistrate for two years at Phuthaditjaba, said the perpetrator had yet to be arrested.

Ndamase, the mother of an eight-year-old, credited colleagues for helping her through the ordeal.

Although Ndamase presides over robbery and rape cases, she says she does not allow her ordeal to cloud her judgments.

“I understand that the alleged rapist who appears before me is not the one who raped me. I make decisions based on the facts that are before the court,” Ndamase said.

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