Home not cleaned for 6 years as woman 'waits for cops to take fingerprints'

2015-10-16 11:56

Johannesburg - Evelyn Dolly Vilakazi lives in a dark, stuffy eight-roomed shack which has not been cleaned since 2009.

The 60-year-old woman said she has not cleaned her home in Tsietsi informal settlement in Palm Ridge on the East Rand because she believes it's a crime scene.

But the room is so untidy that she says she cannot track down the piece of paper containing her case number. Police say they cannot help without it.

She believes she was raped in this very shack, along with her two children five years ago after they were allegedly drugged. She told News24 that when she reported the matter to police, they told her not to touch anything as they would come and take prints from the scene.

She is still waiting.

"I cannot recall the name of the policeman who helped me," Vilakazi said.

"But they told me that I will get thrown behind bars if I tamper with the scene."

As a law-abiding citizen, Vilakazi has adhered to the instructions.

Dressed in an old jersey riddled with holes, she welcomed News24 and several community members into her house.

Sitting in the living area with three couches cramped into the room, and two brown cats walking about, Vilakazi said she could not live like this anymore.

Photo by Naledi Shange, News24

‘We were drugged’

She cannot recall the exact date of when she says they were raped.

"That night, it was me and two daughters and a relative's child in the house. My daughters were 11 and 13 years old while the little boy who was visiting was also 13," she said.

"To be honest, I don't know how many people raped us... We were drugged,” she said.

Vilakazi says she believes that the attackers had burnt a substance which caused all of them to sleep. When they woke up the following morning, the room they had been sleeping in was in shambles and scores of items she had been collecting for years were gone.

Asked how she came to the conclusion that they had been victims of both a house robbery and rape, Vilakazi said she just knew.

"As an elderly person, I could tell that I had been penetrated, there was semen on me," she said, adding that she had not been with a man for years before that.

Vilakazi says she believed that her attackers could have also used an object to penetrate her because the pain she felt that day was like none she had ever felt before. She still feels that pain today.

She says she realised her children had also been raped when they complained about pain in their vaginal area.

"They were still kids and were not having sex yet. So I knew something was wrong," she said.

Vilakazi says she had known nothing about rape back then and so, she told them to bath before taking them to the doctor.

"The doctor examined all four of us. They said my girls and I had been raped," she said.

Photo by Naledi Shange, News24

House ransacked

She led News24 to the back of the large shack where the alleged incident happened.

Jumping through planks, pots and a makeshift stove, she made her way through to the crime scene.

Vilakazi took out a key from her pocket and opened the door to the room. The stench of dust, musty and damp material lingered. Most of the house is without windows and the only source of light came in from the gaps in the roof and the holes in the corrugated iron.

Clothes which had been ripped out of bags, pot plants in plastic containers and makeshift shelving that were thrown on the ground still remained in the exact positions where they were found the morning after.

The robbers made off with bundles of clothes, scores of brand new blankets, curtains, a sewing machine, pots, plates, cutlery, money and briefcases filled with some of the family's important documents.

"I think they took things worth about R60 000," Vilakazi said.

Since then, Vilakazi has changed her way of life. She told News24 that she never washed the outside of the few pots which she had left. She did this so that if ever the robbers came back, they would find them too unattractive to steal.

Since losing all her plates and cutlery, the family now has dinner served in empty ice-cream containers.

According to Vilakazi, the attackers had gained entry into her home by removing some of the corrugated iron which made up a "wall" of the shack.

Photo by Naledi Shange, News24

Stolen possessions

She claimed she had been collecting the now stolen items for years because she wanted to sell them as soon as she quit her job as a domestic worker.

"My employer had given me many of those things. Those white people really loved me. And every month, I would go buy stock and fill up a van with men, women and children's clothing which I intended to sell."

She had spent years extending her home in preparation for a business she wanted to start and the two rooms at the front of the house were meant to be used for her business.

Following the alleged rape, doctors recommended that they go for counselling. Vilakazi said she went to see a church counsellor once but the children never spoke to anyone. She said the counselling never helped.

"My children complained for days that they were in pain but all the emotional pain has remained with me," she said.

She claimed that the worst thing was seeing some of her neighbours dressed in some of the clothes which had been stolen from her.

She was uncertain whether the people who were wearing the clothes had perhaps bought the clothes from someone else or had been among what she believed was a gang which attacked her and her family.

She trusts no one.

Vilakazi said she had confronted some of the people about where they had got the items but they had in turn labelled her as a crazy woman who accused everyone of the crime.

Because of all the clutter in the house, Vilakazi said she could not recall where she wrote down the case number after reporting her ordeal to the police.

Photo by Naledi Shange, News24

Case unresolved

News24 set out on a quest to assist her.

Police, however, found that she had in the past opened several cases, including two of assault in 1994 and 1999.

She reportedly opened a burglary case in 2010 but the details of this case did not match the details that Vilakazi had given to News24.

Without the case number, she could not prove that she had in fact opened a case of rape and robbery in 2009.

Upon request from News24, the clinic where Vilakazi claimed to have been treated, Sinakekelwe Crisis Centre at Natalspruit hospital, searched to see if they had records of Vilakazi being treated at that time.

An official found someone with the same name and surname as her, in a book in which they record patient details specifically for rape or sexual assault. But the clinic official said the age did not match Vilakazi's age. It was also in 2010, so they could not confirm that it was indeed her.

The woman at the clinic asked that Vilakazi come see her but Vilakazi said she did not have money for a taxi fare to go the clinic, adding that she would try to go there next week.

News24 will keep readers updated.

Read more on:    police  |  johannesburg  |  crime

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