A quick visit to a friend’s birthday party abruptly turned into a nightmare for a 15-year-old Gugulethu girl and her family.
Within minutes of leaving her family’s house in NY 110, on Saturday May 28, she was abducted by five men, bundled into their car, drugged and taken to a secret location where the five allegedly took turns to rape her. She believes they were on the verge of killing her when she managed to escape.
Unsure where she was running to, the girl, whose identity has been withheld, only realised she was on the right path when she saw a shining light at a popular social spot.
She got back home around 2am, almost six hours later.
“Her legs were covered in blood. I asked her whether she had been raped,” said the girl’s devastated grandmother.
But she did not respond, insisting on phoning her church leaders. She said it was only when she informed her pastor that the family’s worst nightmare was confirmed.
The granny who shares a bed with the young girl, said she immediately phoned the girl’s mother. She stays at Lingelihle, about a kilometre from them and immediately rushed to the house.
“I don’t know how I got here. I was not thinking straight, but I got here,” said the mother.
Still reeling with shock, the family recalled how the young girl had been pressured by friends on social networks to attend the party.
“She is not someone who likes to be on the street,” said the grandmother.
“Even when all this happened we were watching the SAMAs (South African Music Awards). She said she would be back soon as she wanted to watch the awards until the end,” said the granny.
The woman said she eventually fell asleep while waiting for her granddaughter’s return. “When I woke up at night I realised she was still not back,” she said.
She struggled to sleep. And then heard a frantic knock at the door.
The grandmother said the girl told the family and some members of the church how she had escaped from a double-storey house when her abductors left the door unlocked.
She said the men were plotting their next move after they had raped her.
According to the family, the men had given the girl a small piece of paper and a pen to write her “last words” for her mother.
Instead of writing the message she went to the door that led her to a staircase and to the gate. The gate was locked with barbered wire.
Fearing for her life, she jumped over the gate and ran until she got home.
The family says the girl also told them the men had grabbed her and made her swallow a drug after which she passed out.
After she arrived at home, the police took her to the Thuthuzela Centre, at Heideveld, where she was treated. Although she had little recollection of what had happened to her, the little she remembered, was sufficient to lead to an arrest.
Police spokesperson Constalbe Sindisiwe Ngqele said a 32-year-old man had been arrested last Wednesday evening. He appeared at the Wynberg Magistrate’s Court on Friday June 2 and has been remanded in custody.
The girl’s mother said the family was devastated by the incident. “I always see these things on TV. I never thought it would happen to us,” she said.
But she praised her daughter for her courage. “She is very strong and I am getting a lot of strength from her,” said the mother.
“I am grateful that she is alive. She is still traumatised, but I am trying to get her back to life.”