Rape video: SA media expresses outrage

2012-04-19 14:49

Johannesburg - Most of South Africa's main newspapers were united in disgust and expressed pessimism about the country's humanity on Thursday, following the gang rape of a mentally ill girl.

Editorials reacting to the story, which broke on Wednesday, expressed sorrow for the 17-year-old, but also anger that the attack happened, and that a video had been made and was circulating in public.

On its front page, alongside the headline "A Nation's Shame", The Star newspaper wrote that South Africa's disgrace was its barbaric monsters.

"We have been united as a nation in our horror and revulsion... This episode must force us to take a serious look at ourselves and ask: How did we get here? How did we, as people, raise monsters who find a joke in this repugnant act?"

Recording ‘just plain cruel’

In her opinion piece in The Citizen, Nokuthula Sonile wrote of her heartbreak for the girl and the "scary" statistics which revealed that of 1 500 schoolchildren surveyed in Soweto, a quarter of the boys believed gang rape was fun.

"The girl is a victim of young men who failed to respect her or respect themselves. We can blame society, absent fathers or the lack of role models, but when someone decides to commit a crime and even record the act, it is just plain cruel."

The Sowetan said the incident unearthed citizens' cry for leadership at a time when many were feeling hopelessness in the face of barbarity.

"It is times like these that [we] call out for leadership, in the family, the street and indeed at national level."

Sharing the video

The collective ethos and spirit which prevailed during the struggle for democracy had been replaced by an each-man-for-himself mentality.

"It is a spirit we seem to have tossed in the dustbin of history as the pursuit of freedom was replaced by the pursuit of things material."

The newspaper also ascribed the attack to ineffective community policing forums.

While sharing the horror of the rape with its print media colleagues, The Times could not fathom the curiosity of some South Africans who wanted to see the video footage.

"This is the obscene part of this story, the idea that what happened to this girl became the source of titillation."

Echoing Proudly SA CEO Leslie Sedibe who said on Wednesday that to watch the video was "atrocious and abominable", The Times wrote: "What indeed... have we become when we become voyeurs, and to an extent third-hand witnesses, to this horrific crime? This is not the response of a compassionate, caring society."

Tabloid defends publishing girl’s photo

The New Age called the recording of the crime an indictment on society.

"Filming a sexual or any other criminal act and then sending it for the general public to view, demonstrates not just a sick perverted mind, but also that respect for the law is patently absent."

Meanwhile the Daily Sun, which helped police arrest the seven alleged school-going perpetrators, shunned criticism from "self-appointed media watchdogs".

This was after it published a picture of the girl, who was missing but has subsequently been found, on its front page. On page 2, it displayed a still image of the attack. In the still no one could clearly be identified.

"Daily Sun got the consent of the girl's mother to publish the picture, and we consulted with experts about our course of action. We had no choice but to go ahead.

"If we hadn't, NO crime would have been uncovered, NO arrests would have been made and this helpless girl... would still be missing."

It said there were exceptional circumstances at play, and while it recognised the importance of restrictions when reporting on rape victims and children, it made no apology for helping find the girl and bring the suspected attackers to justice.

  • farmfreund - 2012-04-19 15:02

    These jungsters was delivered to the wrong place, they should off been sent to the SPCA and not jail.

      Hermann - 2012-04-19 15:26

      Hey, please not the SPCA or any animal welfare centre.

      farmfreund - 2012-04-19 15:40

      HermannH - at least there apon arrivile they get castrated and if nobody collects them they will get the sleeping injection,

      Goggiedol - 2012-04-19 15:57

      Please dont insult the least animals know how to treat a human being....those boys need to go to prison and feel how it is to be gang raped...then we should ask them what they think.

      Jack - 2012-04-19 16:01

      How can you blame these boys, when their president Mr. Zuma commits the same deed? The president is their role model, hence they will try an emulate his actions and see this as normal behavior.

      Squeegee - 2012-04-19 16:24

      We desperately need to revive moral standards in this nation. We may have to start from scratch with toddlers and preschoolers. Parents will also have to allow their school going children to face consequences instead of defending them when they are in the wrong.

  • Tuco - 2012-04-19 15:05

    I'm sorry, but if that was my child the police would be looking for 8 dead boys(men). Which they would never find. I hope our justice system does not fail this child. Also I think those who actually circulated that video are just as sick as those animals that raped that child.

      Prudence Pelembe - 2012-04-19 16:33

      So with you...Would kill them with my bear hand.... Enough is enough

      Peter - 2012-04-20 13:21

      "....... a quarter of the boys believed gang rape was fun." Buger this --- they are NOT BOYS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Treat them and try them as MEN!!!!!!

  • Rainbow - 2012-04-19 15:11

    The sun reaches more people in the black community then any other paper. Many people have been found when photos have been placed on its pages. Well done to the sun for publishing her picture so that information could be sought. It paid off and she has been found and the evil thugs have been arrested.

  • Carol - 2012-04-19 15:15

    I am desparately sorry for the rape victim, so so sorry that she's had to go through the ordeal of the rape, the investigation and now the world's eye. Maybe some good will come of the broadcasting of such an atrocious, brutal attack.

  • Lynda - 2012-04-19 15:23

    I wonder how these "kids" will be punished and will it send a really strong message to other mindless thugs who think this is something to be proud of. We can only hope that justice will prevail.....though I somehow doubt it!

  • Hermann - 2012-04-19 15:25

    On the other side of the coin if it was not for a braggart amongst filth, technology and the Daily Sun another heinous crime may have gone undetected.

  • Mendy - 2012-04-19 15:28

    Horrific act on humanity! Our nations men should take a stand against such acts!

  • Bryden - 2012-04-19 15:36

    I say we should turn them over to the community and let them invoke a little "street justice", its just plain sick and I'd prefer to live in a world knowing people like this get exactly what they deserve but we don't live in that world sadly...

  • marais.adriaan - 2012-04-19 15:37

    We will see no change in rape, murder and child molestation unless the death penalty is re-instated for these particular crimes! No matter what whoever says...

  • CharlesDumbwin - 2012-04-19 15:38


      Grace - 2012-04-19 19:14

      @Charles.... They NOT animals, animals don't do this!

  • Gavin - 2012-04-19 15:40

    The fact that this happened, that the mother didn't even report her daughter as missing, that people phoned in wanting the 'link' so that they could go online and watch the video - just proves that darkness still holds sway on our fair shores and that devils still walk the streets. We need to reack deep, and yank the goodness we all know is down there, to the surface. Ask not what your country can do for you, but rather, how you can you heal your country.

      Mendy - 2012-04-19 15:42

      Mother did report her missing on the 25th of March....

      Grace - 2012-04-19 17:04

      The mother reported her missing 3 weeks ago

  • Clive - 2012-04-19 16:13

    It is a sad day but hope people now wake up to the fact our youth are being brought up wrong and having now respect means bigger problems for the future. Please God help bring humanity back to our nation.

  • Chris - 2012-04-19 16:20

    Shoot the f***rs! No wait...bash they're heads in till they're mentally ill...then stick a 2 inch pole up they're bums and then shoot them...Hitler style inline public shooting!

  • Khanya.McCutha - 2012-04-19 16:27

    I love when South Africans are this united

  • Prudence Pelembe - 2012-04-19 16:29

    This is beyond SAD that I have tears in my eyes....I wish an excruciating and extremely slow DEATH to these SAVAGES!!! DIE, DIE AND DIE SLOWWWLY,

  • Olivia - 2012-04-19 16:31

    The SPCA is for abused animals not idiotic morons with less brains than a dog who has the equivalent brain capacity of a 2 year old toddler. Castration does come to mind, why not hand them over to the public for a trial like in the olden days and we will see true justice come to pass. This is why South Africa is in such a mess, these beings walking around with us murdering, raping, pillaging the innocent does not belong here. Just for the record this not only happens in Soweto or the townships it's everywhere the difference is the others don't talk about it or they have high class attorneys that knows how to placate the public.

  • Cheryl - 2012-04-19 16:32

    I think this all goes about respect, which first of all starts at home, how parents treat one another and will be carried on to our children, sadly this is not the case in many homes and thus we are creating a society of monsters. My heart aches for this poor young girl.

      John - 2012-04-19 17:12

      it starts with our State President and his henchmen. He may have been found "not guilty" of rape, but it was based on technicalities. The judge said as much... and then JZ's cronies publically state that the JZ's rape victim "enjoyed it". If Black kids look up to and respect their leader, why not follow his example... after all he has no respect for women, why should we? Multiple wives, mistresses, illegitimate kids... just take a shower and you won't become HIV+.... the rot starts there. JZ has no morals. His involvement with corruption and his dark side at Quattro Camp in Angola where comrades were tortured and killed... if his fellow brothers can't / won't hold him accountable why would kids not believe that they are also entitled to do as el presidente does. Apartheid was immoral. The current bunch of leaders are just as immoral as pre 1994. Pray that somewhere, somehow there is another Mandela out there who we can identify and who will lead us back from this path of self destruct. There are surely good, moral people in the ANC, but when they don't speak out and vote this bunch of sick, immoral, corrupt leaders back into power year after year, that makes them either insane or equally without moral backbone. Rather a Zille who makes gaffes but who has integrity than these amoebas (I apologize to all the REAL amoebas... at least you have purpose in life)

  • Grace - 2012-04-19 17:09

    Nokuthula Sonile wrote of her heartbreak for the girl and the \scary\ statistics which revealed that of 1 500 schoolchildren surveyed in Soweto, a quarter of the boys believed gang rape was fun(sic). How SCARY is this! A QUARTER think gang rape is 'fun'. We have a LOOOOOONG way to go still

  • Liz - 2012-04-19 17:27

    This summary of the media's response is interesting but by this time next week - this incident will probably be forgotten about when some other horror story or political intrigue overtakes it. The Citizen's report on research which suggests that a quarter of the boys in a survey thought gang rapes were "fun" is very telling. It is in line with a commonly held view that there is "no such thing as rape in a marriage." Couple this sad state of affairs with poor or even absent parents and the unfettered portrayal of violence on TV and in video games and we are in for many more similar stories. Sadly a situation has been created where not nearly enough adults lead by example and take responsibility for ensuring that children and young people grow up aware of the basics of what is right and wrong. It is very complicated! We have to start at square one - if we know where to find it!

  • Grant - 2012-04-19 17:37

    Ashamed to be a south african. Our rape statistics are the highest in the world, yet what do we do about it? Have a little "raise awareness" event every month or so, sluts walks, Citizens Against Rape... This does absolutely squat..nothing. Rape will only ever begin to stabilize in this country if people begin to fear the law. The law in this country is an absolute joke. Those who are caught either get off for lack of evidence or have a nice cushy sentence in jail. Don't even begin to try and re-humanize these people because they are beyond gone. Something happened to the people of this country over the last 50 years that will take 500 years to gain back. Until then, lets stop this putrid behavior by coming down HARD on these thugs and when I mean HARD think hacksaws, and hot pokers.. oh man, what a sick society we live in.

      Liz - 2012-04-19 17:51

      Well actually JAO I am involved in a programme around gender based violence which has really made a difference according to the participants. Young people themselves are providing the lead to address some of these issues. There has been soul searching, plenty of discussion, creating of awareness, and sharing of good information. The saddest thing is that it seemed many did not know they had options and did not know they are individually responsible for their own behaviour and future. They seem to feel they were all trapped on a rollercoaster ride to nowhere. So deep down inside many, but maybe not all, of these people there is human being like you and me and yes many, but maybe not all can be rehabilitated.

  • faburns85 - 2012-04-20 03:06

    The human race is filled with very nasty people who want--no feel entitled--to watch and wank to videos of people (mostly women and children) being raped brutally. I hope the world truly does end at the end of 2012 because humanity is a waste of space--a sadistic joke that has gone on for far too long.

  • Amobieziokwu - 2012-04-20 08:11

    This is barbaric, I believe in forgiving and giving 2nd chance to offenders of any kind but this one is just too much for me to utter a word sanely without letting my emotion taking over. Should they be castrated, sentenced, maimed, or emotionally scarred????? All these are good options but I am more concerned of this young girl in question what should be done for her to aid her healing and clean out dirts from her humanity?? Let the government do for her what was done to Jacob Zuma's rape accuser prior to his ascendancy to the presidency please please please plzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz!!!!!!!!!! Take her out of the country and start a brand new life for her in a brand new enviroment, providing every of her single needs, wants and desires;-WITH GOD ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE FOR HER AGAIN!!! My name is Possible and my nos is 0842230200, if I could get the chance to know and or speak to her, I will say to her you are simply a WINNER!!!!!

  • Sazi - 2012-04-20 08:36

    Oh believe me they will get their handouts in jail from the 'papas'. Hope their filthy bums are ready.

  • Dane - 2012-04-20 08:41

    these 7 blokes need to be tied to a pole and beaten!!! if it wasnt one of the rapists who released this video and perhaps someone who got hold of it then released it, i hope that person gets time too beacause its beyond sick

  • Tiisetso - 2012-04-20 16:47

    It's truly sad and disappointing how certain people's minds work or should i rather say not work. It is even sadder that we live in a society that has zero respect for humanity and their rights, a society that violates and sees cruelty to humans and animals as an okay thing to do. Not everyone thinks this way, thank goodness, but it only takes one, one person to terrorize, humiliate, harm, violate, rob and just not act like a civil servant of society. i truly believe that together we can stand tall and fight against this cruelty amongst our people. To the girl who was raped my prayers and empathy are with you.

  • khoza.ta - 2012-04-24 12:15

    Sis!!! Rape is a c.arus crime, its like killing ,i thnk our law shoud start being more agresive on such act .infact rapers must spend life time in prison our freedom and democracy was to build huminity not distroying it . If u live like an animal u absulutly deserve to be treated like an animal finish an klaar!!

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