UPDATED: Reports that Thandiswa Qubuda Passed away Thursday night. Now it is murder!
Unemployed People’s Movement Press released this statement today reporting that Thandiswa Qubuda was gang raped in the early hours of the 20th January 2013 at the corner of New Town and E Street in Grahamstown. She is 30 years old and the only one surviving in the family. Both her both parents have died and she was living with her aunt.
She was savagely beaten during the rape and is now permanently brain damaged and lying in hospital. Today at 12 noon the Revered Mzi Dyantyi, family members and the Unemployed People’s Movement held a prayer and anointment in her ward.
The men that were arrested after this rape were granted free bail. The rape case was then dismissed and struck off the role because of the extreme negligence and incompetence of the police. The only charge that is remaining is attempted murder. Witnesses have been subject to serious intimidation by one of the accused. One has been taken to a place of safety after been threatened with death by one of the accused. Another has had to flee to Johannesburg. And yet the accused were given free bail!
We do not believe that the state is taking the rape and assault of Thandiswa Qubuda seriously. The state holds poor people in contempt. We are just voting fodder to them. We are not human beings to them.
Our President cannot give leadership in the struggle against rape, attacks on lesbians and other forms of gender based violence. After his rape trial he emerged bruised and lacking in credibility to many South Africans. His utterance in court when he stated that he knew that a woman wanted sex because of what she was wearing was disgraceful. The way that his accuser was vilified was disgraceful.
If the president was to deal with the scourge of rape seriously and to lead the fight against women abuse with honesty and sincerity his dignity would be restored to many South Africans. But we have no faith that this will happen. When we look at Nkandla or his silence in the face of the repression of the movements and struggles of the poor we have no confidence that we will ever have leadership from above.
Therefore it is clear that the leadership in the struggle against rape will have to come from below. It is time for real action against rape. As the UPM we are committed to doing what ever is in our power to work with others to end this scourge.
It is time that South African men had the balls to stand up to this – or are they all rapists – if not all in body – in mind and soul too?