'The creep was waiting for her' - Family in shock after EC teenager raped and left for dead

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The suspect is still at large after the Easter weekend rape.
The suspect is still at large after the Easter weekend rape.
Mlandeli Puzi

It was broad daylight, around 2pm when an Eastern Cape teenager left her home to meet a friend at a nearby forest.

She did not think much of it because she had walked through that forest hundreds of times before, it was on her route to school after all.

But this time she was raped and her eyes were gouged out.

The teenager (15) cannot be named to protect her identity and her aunt, Nandipha Nzimande*, says her niece’s rapist told her she knows her family.

“As he was raping her, he told her he had to kill her because he knows her family and that he grandmother is a sangoma. He also mocked her for being a virgin, asking if there were no boys in the village,” Nandipha says.

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It has become apparent to the family that the suspect followed the girl from Cabazana Locality, in Mount Ayliff to the forest on Good Friday. He was unaware that she was meeting someone there. It is alleged that when the suspect saw the girl with the boy she was meeting, he told him to leave.

“When we saw her in the hospital she said she did not recognize the rapist at the time, but if she were to see him again she would be able to identify him. Because she can no longer see, we asked her if anyone else had seen him and she told us she was meeting a boy there. She gave us his details and we tracked him down. He is probably 17 years old.

“He says the older man walked up to them, initially after pretending like he was peeing and on the phone. He told the boy to leave and he was scared so he said he would leave but my niece asked him how he could leave her with the unknown man. The man then acted as though he was leaving and out of nowhere, a stone was thrown at them. The teenagers were both scared and even though the young boy offered to accompany my niece she declined saying she would run. They both ran in different directions but that creep was waiting for her in the forest. She could not outrun him,” says Nandipha.

After raping her, the man stabbed and gouged her eyes out. She lost one eye at the scene and crawled to the side of the road where she was picked up by a passerby.

“Doctors said that when she arrived, she only had one eyeball, but it was barely hanging and they could not save it.  When we arrived at the hospital she was bruised on her face and her body. He had even strangled her and hit her with a rock on the head. I think he thought she would die there.”

Speaking on behalf of the Eastern Cape police, Brigadier Tembinkosi Kinana has urged anyone who may be able to assist in the investigation by sharing information that will lead to positive identification and arrest of the suspect to please contact the investigating officer, Detective Warrant Officer Thembelani Jackson Mgoqi on 072 731 2498 or call the Crime Stop 08600 10111.

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“At the present moment there is no information regarding the identity of the suspect. However, [the] police investigation is continuing. A case of rape and assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm have been registered. No arrest made at this stage,” Brigadier Kinana says.

The Provincial Commissioner, Lieutenant General Nomthetheleli Mene has expressed shock at the brutal incident and has also ordered a team of highly trained investigators in Mt Ayliff to track, trace and find the perpetrator.

“This is an extreme act of callous criminality, and the perpetrator must be found to account for his fatal actions,” she says.

Petros Majola of the Khula CDP EC Children's Rights Organisation says South African men are an embarrassment.

“This is very disturbing,” he says.

“Men continue to embarrass us as a nation. The police are closing in on you and they will find you, the police are not going to disappoint us. We wish strength to the young girl. Yho, but men why is it that day in and day out there is a man doing such awful things?” 

*Not her real name.

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