Raped student 'strong and brave'
Sonja Carstens and Hanti Otto, Beeld
Pretoria - The 22-year-old Tuks student who was stabbed 23 times before being raped and left for dead last week is an “incredibly strong and courageous woman”, one of her doctors says.
“The strength of the Lord is shining through her and her mother,” said Dr Lets Pretorius on Monday after visiting the student in ICU where she was in a stable condition. Eight of her knife wounds were potentially fatal.
Pretorius helped Dr Stefan Rawlins, a plastic and reconstructive surgeon, and Dr Pieter Coertze, an orthopaedic surgeon, in the lengthy emergency operation on the student following the attack.
The student from Magalieskruin, Pretoria, who was put on antiretroviral treatment following the rape, gave permission to her mother and Pretorius to give details about her injuries.
Pretorius said a neurosurgeon had to help remove the point of the knife blade, which broke off in her skull. “Judging from the stab wounds, I suspect her attacker was left-handed,” he said.
Suspect escapes custody
Meanwhile student constable Mphikeledi Alfred Mahlanga, 39, and Warrant Officer Amos Chris Masilela, 48, appeared in the Pretoria North Regional Court on Monday on charges of defeating the ends of justice and aiding in the escape of the student’s alleged rapist on Friday night.
The two police members apparently took him to the Dr George Mukhari hospital in Ga-Rankuwa in northern Pretoria without handcuffs or shackles after he complained of feeling ill. He then escaped through a toilet window.
According to the charge sheet, the police officials were arrested the same day and later released on a warning.
The matter was postponed for them to obtain legal representation.
Outside court, the two followed Beeld's photographer after he took their picture. They took cellphone pictures of him and his car’s registration number.
Gauteng police spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Lungelo Dlamini said on Monday that an internal investigation had been launched into the incident. Authorities would wait for the result before suspending the men.
Apart from the attack on the student, the alleged rapist is sought for three other rape incidents.
DA councillor and board member of the Sinoville community policing forum, Arnold van Niekerk, visited the student in hospital on Monday and said an example had to be made of the two police officers if it was found that they had not followed police procedure.