Boy and man arrested after raped, assaulted woman dies in Northern Cape hospital

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A 15-year-old boy and 24-year-old man have been arrested for allegedly raping and beating a woman to death in Prieska, Northern Cape police said on Monday.

The woman, identified as 33-year-old Vanessa Barends by the Diamond Fields Advertiser (DFA), had been walking home over the weekend when the pair attacked her, said Captain Olebogeng Tawana.

"[They] accosted and dragged her into a nearby yard [and] took turns raping her."

A passerby spotted her lying "helplessly, half-naked and brutally assaulted", he said.

"She had head injuries. We are investigating what object was used."

Tawana said Barends had died while receiving medical treatment.

Her uncle, Booi BJ Barends, told the DFA that, after she disappeared, they had decided to go to the Bill Pickard Hospital, where they found her. He said they hardly recognised her because her head was so swollen.

He told the newspaper that the family had been optimistic that she would recover, but she died from her injuries on Sunday.

The police followed up on a lead and members of the Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences Unit arrested two men, Tawana said.

They were expected to appear in the Prieska Magistrate's Court on charges of rape and murder on Monday. 

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