Lurkers rape house sitter

2020-01-15 06:00

A PIETERMARITZBURG woman has been left traumatised after she was accosted by two men and one of them raped her off Old Howick Road in Athlone on Monday night.

The Witness was told that the woman (22) had returned at about 7.45 pm to a property she was house-sitting after having dinner with a friend, oblivious to the presence of two men who were lying in wait for her outside the property.

The woman’s relative said she was too traumatised by the incident to talk clearly about it yesterday.

She was taken to hospital after the incident and was discharged on Tuesday morning. The relative said they suspect that the assailants had seen the woman driving out and waited for her to return to the house.

“These guys must have been watching her and noticed that she was in the house by herself.

As she parked outside the gate, she bent down to get her keys in her bag and the driver’s door opened.

“One of the men tried to grab her out of the car and he couldn’t because her seatbelt was on. “He got his friend to go to the passenger’s side.

He unclipped the seatbelt and then they dragged her to the darker corner of the street and while one restrained her, the other one raped her.

They overpowered her and she had no time to act or do anything.

“Fearing she could be murdered if she didn’t comply, she was forced into the bush. She said that she screamed for help, but no one driving past could hear her,” said the relative.

Although unsure, the relative said she suspects that the ordeal lasted about 45 minutes. “On the tracking app, it shows that she stopped at the gate at 7.45 pm; she only got to call me after 45 minutes at about 8.30 pm.”

She said the woman managed to flee from the assailants who were startled when they saw what they suspected to be car headlights.

“They [assailants] ran away and she managed to get up and ran into the house to press the panic button and then called me.”

The relative, who was in Dundee and had to cut her holiday short, said all she could do when she got the panicked phone call was to send an emergency message on the community watch group.

None of the woman’s belongings were taken during the attack. “They [attackers] could have taken the car or her cell phone … but they just raped her. It was just pure violence. “She is still very shaky. She has been given appropriate drugs to calm her down.

She hasn’t slept all night and she is in a very bad state.”

The relative criticised the municipality for its failure to fix street lights in the area, which she said made residents prone to crime.

“Our road hasn’t had any street lights for the longest time, and it is dense.

“There is also a big trench that’s right next to our gate that was dug up by municipal workers. Anyone can hide there, and you wouldn’t even see them,” she said.

The relative’s sentiments were reiterated by another resident who lives nearby. “That lane is in pure darkness.

It is creepy and scary. Anything can come out of that darkness and these houses are directly on the highway. The residents have reported to the municipality, which has fallen on deaf ears,” she said.

Pietermaritzburg police spokesperson Sergeant Mthokozisi Ngobese said a case of rape was opened but no arrests have been made.

Townhill Community Policing Forum (CPF) chairperson Megan Nicol said they were saddened by the incident.

She advised residents to remain alert and vigilant at all times.

“When you come into your driveway, never turn into your driveway until your gate is open and you can drive straight in.

If you are sitting just outside your driveway for any length of time, you are a prime target,” said Nicol.

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