- Two months after a film crew was attacked at a mine dump, only six of the 20 victims have received counselling from the Gauteng Department of Social Development.
- The department gave counselling to six of the women who were raped, saying two others declined the offer.
- It says it does not know who the other victims, who were not sexually assaulted, are, but is willing to offer them counselling.
Two months after being robbed and sexually assaulted during a music video shoot, only six of the 20 victims have received counselling.
The Gauteng Department of Social Development said six people took up the offer for counselling, two declined and the "other victims of the same crime are not known to the department".
Department spokesperson Feziwe Ndwanyana said:
When asked why the department did not know the other victims, Ndwanyana failed to respond.
To deal with their trauma and mental health, the women have had to turn to a women abuse organisation - Women for Change - for counselling.
In July, eight women were raped during the shoot.
The crew of 20 was also robbed of their film equipment, cellphones and money.
Fourteen men have been charged with robbing and raping the group. Seventy other suspected illegal miners have appeared in court on a charge of being in the country illegally.
After the attack, Police Minister Bheki Cele said psychologists were sent to work with them.
Five young women were also sent to a place of safety after their information was leaked online.
Women for Change founder Sabrina Walter said the victims contacted her organisation after getting no joy from the government.
The music video producer told News24 the women who were taken to the place of safety were given two sessions of play therapy.
Other victims did not receive any counselling, she said.
She added the victims were now on stage 6 of their counselling and have received play therapy, trauma counselling, individual counselling, group therapy and healing and restoration support group sessions.
But Walter countered they had not received any government counselling yet.
"I spoke to them this week, and they have gotten nothing. I organised some of the victims to get virtual counselling from the Rape Crisis Centre and the Tears Foundation. Besides that, they have received nothing. It freaks me out how this is one of the most publicised rape cases in the country, and those women have gotten no help."
She said the organisation also had to get them medical check-ups at a private hospital.
"The only thing they did was a check-up for the rape kit for the case."
Walter added: "I have no idea why the government is sleeping. I know that most of the victims are not coping."
She said currently, only one woman was still at a safe house.
"They are back home. They want to go back to the safe house because they don't feel safe in their environment. There is no support for these young people."
But Ndwanyana said the women left the centre after finding jobs.
"Not all victims have exited the shelters; however, those victims that have exited the shelters are mainly due to them being offered employment opportunities.
"They started with their new employment opportunities in September 2022. The victims have indicated that they do not need shelter services as they will be with their families for support; however, they will continue with counselling if there is a need."
Walters said since the attack, the women and most of the crew have not been able to work.
Women for Change has organised a fundraiser for them.
"Those women are not able to work at the moment. We want to just cover their monthly expenses. I was able to raise R54 000 so far. We want to try and raise money for them to cover their monthly expenses until the end of the year."
To raise funds for the women, an online fundraiser was started.