Tembisa man charged with beating, raping partner while holding her hostage for 6 months

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Tembisa Magistrate's Court.
Tembisa Magistrate's Court.
Photo by Gallo Images / Daily Sun / Trevor Kunene
  • A Tembisa man was arrested for allegedly holding his partner hostage for six months while assaulting and raping her.
  • When the woman was finally rescued, she could not walk and her nails were very long.
  • The man is currently in hospital after being attacked by the members of the community.

A 45-year-old man has been arrested and charged with rape, kidnapping, and assault with the intent to do grievous bodily harm after it was discovered that he had allegedly been holding his 35-year-old partner hostage for the past six months.

When the woman was finally rescued, she could not walk due to an injury sustained allegedly at the hands of the man.

The room in which she had been kept captive was filthy and messy, with clothes everywhere. There were exposed electricity wires on the floor and another one close to the bed.

A bucket containing urine and tissues was also found.

While it is believed that the couple were boyfriend and girlfriend, police say they are married.

READ | 'I feel like I'm in jail in your arms,' Joburg domestic violence survivor told her husband

Gauteng police spokesperson Mavela Masondo said they had received a complaint from a concerned resident and, upon their arrival, had apprehended the suspect who was taken to hospital following a violent beating from residents.

"It is alleged that the suspect locked his wife inside the room and assaulted her while forcing himself onto her. The matter was reported to the police by a concerned community member and police pounced on the suspect at their rented room in Tembisa.

"The suspect was arrested and taken to hospital under police guard after he was allegedly assaulted by the community," Masondo said.

In a recent video posted on Facebook by Voice of Tembisa FM (VOTFM), the woman describes the abuse she had been subjected to since she ran away from her family to stay with the man.

She said:

I arrived here on 4 of October last year and I have been held captive in this house for a period of six months. He beat me on my life with a steel that is thin as a broom on my leg which injured me, and I have not been able to bath. I am unable to use my hands and I am always in this state.

She also claims the last time she went outside was in January, when a few women and a councillor came to ask her about her situation and offer their help.

"Some women and the councillor were here to help me in January and we sat outside the house. I changed my story just when he walked in, telling them that everything is fine, because I am scared of him.

"After the women and the councillor left, he took me inside the room, where he cut the electrical wires, proceeded to pour water inside the washing basket, and threatened to electrocute me, saying I want him to get killed by the community," she said

In the video, she also says she wants to go back home, but is scared, as she was warned about the kind of person she was dating.

According to Cynthia Dinale, a gender-based violence activist from Tembisa who was one of the first people to arrive at the scene, the woman had not been able to walk and had not received any medical attention.

READ | Woman escapes after being held captive for 22 years by boyfriend

"The situation is very, very bad. No one was cutting her nails. The room is a mess and it looked like a pigsty. It's not a place for a human being to live in."

Dinale also told News24 that the woman told her that the suspect would normally force himself on her even though she was in pain.

"The victim told me that the suspect accused would force himself on her without her consent, even after she told him that her legs are painful. He would insist on sleeping with her anyway," Dinale added.

In another video captured by VOTFM, the suspect admits to beating the woman with a steel rod but that he told her to go to the hospital and she refused.

However, he could not answer when asked when last she had taken a bath as well as why her nails had not been cut.

"We got into a fight after coming back from a drinking spot and she went to another place after lying to me that she is going to the toilet, I hit her with a steel rod on her leg and that is how she got injured," the accused said.

In the video the suspect says: "I had to coerce her to brush her teeth but she refuses to cut her nails and I am not going to force her to do that."

The victim said:

I want to go back home, I was planning on telling a lie when I get home by saying to them that I got shot by mistake as to avoid telling them the truth about him abusing me, I am afraid that they are going to tell me that I deserved this and would recall the words that they told me about him.

According to Dinale, the man was admitted to hospital on 18 March after some residents decided to take the law into their own hands and assaulted him.

"The victim is not fine as she can't walk, she can't do anything and she needs to be attended to by a physiotherapist. After she is discharged from the hospital, we are planning on taking her to the People Opposing Women Abuse Gender-Based-Violence shelter in Katlehong, and we were able to get hold of her mother," Dinale added.

Masondo said that the man had not yet appeared in court because of the injuries he sustained, and that more charges may be added following the investigation.

"The suspect was charged with rape, kidnapping and assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm. He is expected to appear at Tembisa Magistrate's Court on Tuesday, 22 March 2022."

National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Phindi Mjonondwane said the man was still in hospital and that the matter had been postponed to 29 March.

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