Woman raped by ex-colleague, but flat tyre saves her life

2008-12-15 00:00

A 46-year-old Pietermaritzburg domestic worker suffered a traumatic ordeal when she was raped and beaten on Friday last week, but as her attackers were taking her to a spot where she was allegedly going to be killed, she made a quick escape.

The woman, who works in Ashburton, was attacked by a gardener who worked for the same family until three weeks ago.

After escaping, she was treated in hospital until Saturday, and given leave to recuperate at home.

“I had left her home alone, as usual, to look after my [Ashburton] house as I had visited my home in Kokstad when the incident happened,” said her employer.

The victim, who has worked in the house for about two years, was sitting in her room outside the main house when she heard a knock.

As she opened the door, the gardener came in and threw her on the bed and raped her.

Afterwards he demanded the key to the main house so he could steal valuables.

Police spokeswoman Inspector Joey Jeevan said the alleged attacker and his accomplice, aged 25 and 27 years old, were arrested.

Jeevan said that when the woman refused to hand over the keys, the gardener threatened and slapped her until she gave him the keys.

The man left the woman in the lounge and went on to ransack the house. He later came back to assault her with the butt of a firearm and the handle of a pickaxe, demanding the key to the garage where the employer’s black Range Rover was parked. He loaded bottles of alcohol into the vehicle.

The man forced the woman into the vehicle and drove to pick up his friend, allegedly to help kill her. He drove to Hammarsdale with his heavily bleeding victim.

As the three drove back towards Pietermaritzburg, the woman heard the man telling his accomplice she should be killed because she would identify him.

But along the way, the vehicle had a flat tyre and the attacker stopped at a service station in Umlaas Road.

“The victim then managed to escape and fled into a nearby toilet and requested the assistance of a passer-by who contacted the police,” said Jeevan.

Both men ran into the bush, and police managed to apprehend one of them. The second suspect was arrested in Hopewell on Saturday afternoon.

The owner of the Range Rover said her vehicle was found with the exterior badly damaged and full of blood inside.

Jeevan said one of the suspects has been charged with rape, assault and theft of a vehicle.

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