Ruined by rape

By Drum Digital
10 November 2010

THE girl sits quietly in the dimly lit living room of her sister's home in Pennyville, Joburg. Her almond-shaped eyes fill with tears as she prepares to give her account of the incident that has shocked the nation.

Mbali* is the girl who made headlines recently when she was allegedly drugged and then raped by three boys on the grounds of her school in Jozi in broad daylight.

And as the boys raped her, 10 other learners stood by videotaping her ordeal on their cellphones. The clip has been distributed to both pupils and teachers at Jules High School in Jeppestown, with some students even selling the footage for money.

While horrified reaction to Mbali's ordeal continues unabated, dominating the news and radio talk shows, DRUM spoke to the traumatised girl. Hearing what happened from her lips is enough to send chills down your spine.

"I had gone to school to get my exam timetable for the next week," the 15-yearold began. "When I got there the teachers told us to wait because they were busy with other students who were writing. My friend and I and a couple of other kids went to the sports field to wait."

At the field the pupils collected money to buy a two-litre Sprite. "I was just sitting and chatting when my friend gave me the Sprite with a straw in it and said I should taste it. I asked her why she wanted me to do that, but I drank it anyway."

Mbali immediately realised the cooldrink tasted strange. "I gave it to my friend to taste because I could tell there was something like alcohol in it. When I said that, the group laughed."

Her friend also had a sip and said it tasted like it had been spiked ? laced with some kind of alcohol or drug. Soon Mbali started feeling dizzy and put her head down on her friend's lap.

"People were talking but I couldn't really hear what they were saying," she continues. "I remember someone giving me another drink. That second drink was a lot stronger and I knew it wasn't cooldrink."

Feeling drowsy, Mbali went to the girls' bathroom to splash water on her face. "I fell in the bathroom and then I remember being dragged to a dark place and there was someone on top of me. I remember someone saying I should get on top of them."

Mbali struggles to continue, choking on her words, and her sister, Jane*(27) and brother-in-law, Dumisane* (33), step in.

"From the cellphone videos you can hear one of the boys telling her to get on top of the other boy," says Dumisane, who saw the clip when it was sent to his phone by a school friend of Mbali.

"Then they all have sex with her. You can see the other kids watching and videotaping, and you can even hear them laughing. It's so horrible."

One boy who watched the entire episode tells DRUM that people were screaming Mbali's name as she was raped. "She wasn't responding at all," he says. "It was embarrassing to watch but I was so shocked I just stood there."

JANE was at work in Edenvale when she got a call from the school at 11 am telling her that her sister had been raped. She called her husband who fetched her and drove her to Jeppestown.

"The first thing we saw was a circle of students and teachers watching something on a cellphone," Jane recalls. "I went to them and asked to see what they were looking at but they told me to go to the office and speak to the acting principal, Gert van Vuuren."

Read the full areticle in DRUM of 18 November 2010

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