‘My husband raped our children’

2013-11-26 15:12

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The gathering went dead silent as a mother’s soft cries resonated through the packed hall in Seshego, Limpopo.

National police commissioner Riah Phiyega shook her head as she held one of the two children while their mother related the pain of finding them raped, allegedly by their father.

The mother of six, from Thohoyandou, wept uncontrollably as she described how she had discovered blood on her two-year-old child’s nappies and the older one’s pants.

The case is currently under way in court. The father is facing charges of raping the children, aged two and four.

A while later, mumblings could be heard as a man convicted of rape pleaded for forgiveness and promised he was a changed man.

Dressed in a bright orange prison uniform, William Nkuna said he had battered a woman, raped and robbed her of her belongings and said that was the reason he was in chains today.

“I tore the woman’s clothes and used them to tie her, then left her there in the bush after assaulting her. I did the crime around the same time of the 16 Days [of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children campaign],” he said.

“I am sorry and I would like to apologise to those I have hurt. Let’s stop violence and abuse against women and children. These need to stop.”

Earlier on, as victims of crime against and the abuse of women and children shared their excruciating experiences, a police colonel, Sophie Maja, spoke of her ordeal at the hands of an abusive husband.

She nearly died when her husband attacked her with an axe after filing for divorce when she could no longer take the abuse and constant fights in front of their children, whom she said were badly affected.

Mmakwena Modiba, who is serving time for abandoning her four children for days under no one’s care, also pulled her chained legs to the podium where she apologised profusely and urged parents to love and care for their children.

Speaking at the official police launch of the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence held in Seshego, Limpopo, Deputy Police Minister Maggie Sotyu urged women not to die in silence while being abused and victimised.

“Speak out so that you can get all the necessary assistance. If you can’t talk to the police talk to other women who can support you and take your case further,” she said.

Delivering her keynote address, police boss Phiyega urged the nation to work together with the police in the battle against victimisation of women and children.

“Police alone can’t do it but together we can. We’re here today to say as the police we remain committed in this fight that we shall continue to detect, investigate and arrest perpetrators,” she said.

“This is not a police’s fight but our fight. As the nation you also have responsibility to make this country safe. Ask yourself what role you are playing in this battle against violence on women and children.”

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