In South Africa the laws are clear: Life Sentences for Rapists.
Are they upheld?
NO!! More often than not Rapists get away and walk the streets within weeks, Days and even hours after committing these heinous crimes. Nobody and no one is safe on the streets any more.
To get anywhere near these results you have to undergo the most demeaning process of your life and i know of many cases where the victims either retract their case or make a far bigger choice: They commit suicide. Not every one can don a T-shirt that says: “I am a Survivor” Some victims are just way to overwhelmed by the process of getting to an actual conviction. Years and Years of slogging and backlog created by Defence Lawyers and the Court System.
Up to 3 600 rapes in SA every day
In South Africa, 144 women report rape to police every day – that is six cases reported every hour.
The brutality and personal trauma that the Victims have to endure is nothing compared to the treatment they receive at the hands of medical staff and institutions in S A as there a few or little who are fully equipped to deal with them.
Case 1 of millions:
Very little is known about Thandiswa Qubuda, a recent casualty of South Africa’s violent rape pandemic. She was raped, beaten and died after lying brain dead in hospital for six weeks. There are no photos of her in newspapers, no stories of her life, no media headlines about the savage gang attack that led to her death. Qubuda’s passing would have been largely unnoticed, were it not for activists who demanded that people learn about what happened to her: that she was an unemployed woman, failed by the police and by a justice system supposed to protect her. By MANDY DE WAAL.
The 19th of January 2013 brought a rare pleasure for Thandiswa Qubuda of Hlalani in Grahamstown. Friends asked the unemployed woman, who was in her late twenties, to join them for an evening out. It was a Saturday, and Qubuda and her mates headed to Fingo Village, one of the Eastern Cape city’s oldest townships.
It is not certain exactly what happened, but just after midnight, as Saturday night became Sunday and a heavy rain fell, Qubuda faced unspeakable terror. The young woman was dragged by as many as eight men to a toilet in the midtown, gang-raped and brutally beaten. She was left to die, prostrate and half-naked in the pouring rain; unconscious and with her arms folded over her exposed breasts.
After she had lain unconscious for hours in the downpour, an ambulance would come and dispatch Qubuda to Settlers Hospital in Grahamstown, where she died some six weeks later, gasping for breath.
“Thandiswa Qubuda’s passing is horrifying. She met her death in the most savage and brutal way. If Thandiswa were from a wealthy family, her story would have been in all the newspapers, the police would have rounded up the perpetrators, and they would be in jail, but because she is unemployed she is the wretched of the earth. She does not appear in the headlines and her rapists walk free,” says Ayanda Kota, founder of the Unemployed People’s Movement (UPM).
Kota’s sister and brother-in-law were amongst the first people on the scene after the community was alerted to the rape. “There were about eight men who were raping Thandiswa when a neighbour heard the screaming and went to see what was happening. The men said that this neighbour must join in the rape or he would be shot, but the man ran off to alert the community and call the police instead,” Kota said on the phone from Grahamstown.
“The rape took place on the corner of New Town Street and E Street in Fingo village. It must have happened after midnight because people started calling the police and ambulance from about 01h45, but the police and the ambulance only arrived after 04h00 in the morning,” he said.
“What is disturbing is that the police station is less than a kilometre away from where the rape occurred. My sister and brother-in-law were at the scene where Thandiswa was found. She was half-naked and her pants were dropped at the knees. She was lying on her back facing upwards, unconscious with her arms folded over her chest as if to cover her breasts. The people who first found her thought she had already passed away,” Kota explains.
“She was lying in that rain for two hours. After 04h00, the ambulance came, a stretcher was taken out and the paramedics rushed her to hospital. Police in Grahamstown were told that it was a rape case when they got to the scene later, but they didn’t do anything. They didn’t even go to the hospital,” alleges Kota.
“A case was opened for attempted murder,” UPM spokesperson, Xola Mali, told Daily Maverick from Grahamstown. “There was a rape charge, but there was no evidence to back it up, so that case was dismissed by the court this past week.”
Independent city newspaper Grocott’s Mail reported that two men aged 19 and 20 were arrested a day after the rape and brutal assault, but were later released from custody with a warning because there wasn’t enough evidence to hold them.
The investigating officer on the case, John Manzana, told Grocott’s Mail that the pair had been arrested because “circumstantial evidence in his docket indicated that both of them were seen walking with the victim and entered the place where the victim was later found”. The state prosecutor, Asanda Koliti, withdrew rape charges because the state “had not received confirmation that the woman had indeed been raped,” the newspaper reported.
“The young woman was transferred from Settlers Hospital in Grahamstown to Livingstone Hospital in Port Elizabeth, but the doctors there said that they could do nothing for her because she was already brain dead,” Mali told Daily Maverick. “She was just sent back from Port Elizabeth to Grahamstown.
“She was an unemployed woman, but she had friends who had piece jobs (occasional employment), so sometimes her friends would get money and they would occasionally go for a night out. Because she was unemployed she largely depended on her friends and community members for food, so an evening out was a rare pleasure for her,” Mali added.
“This is not the first case we have seen like this.http://www.dailymaverick.co.za/article/2013-03-04-thandiswa-qubuda-another-dead-brick-in-the-wall-of-rape-imprisoning-south-africa/#.UgDqcJIwd3E