A wealthy young British couple, traveling in Gugulethu on Honeymoon, was hijacked last week, and tragically the beautiful wife, Anni Dewani, was fatally shot, causing an international media blitz and outcry. South Africa is rampant in crime which more often than not goes unchecked and the Zuma government has done very little to assert any effective control. However when this story has the Police in first gear; aware of the attention, and impact on tourism, have gone all out – not a resource withheld – solving the crime and taking care of the victims.
Melanie Nathan has been following the story of the brutal rape of a young lesbian soccer player, Millicent Gaika, shedding light on the plight of many more such cases in the Southern African Country; Milly was raped in the same township, Gugulethu, where the British couple suffered their tragedy; and what stands in stark contrast to Milly’s case is 3 disturbing truths:
1. Milly has received no resources whatsoever from the South African authorities to help her with her medical needs, her safety issues, her transportation to give evidence, trauma counseling – all while the accused is out on bail and threatening her life; Milly as a surviving victim has been badly treated.
2. Notwithstanding her day in Court, and many bail proceedings for the accused, Milly has had no ongoing mainstream Media coverage in South Africa, despite coverage in USA, UK and Germany; and
3. Milly’s perpetrator is free on the street, despite being re-arrested for breaching his bail conditions by approaching a witness and threatening her life, in the very area that he was restricted from being in.
Two Letters have come my way that speak for what is happening. One is from Ndumie Funda, co-founder of Luleki Sizwe, whose life is under threat – she is the brave warrior who has been housing and caring for a group of fifteen lesbians in a 2 room tiny leaking shack all being victims of corrective rape, and some who have contracted HIV/AIDs as a result.
The Police have suspects in custody in the Brit tragedy and I have no doubt Justice will be swift in the very same Wynberg Court where Milly’s justice is sought. There will be two differences:
1. The wealthy Brits will have transport and security paid and attended to by SA Authorities;
2. The accused in the Brit case will not see the light of day, there will be no bail; unlike in Milly’s case where her accused paid R60 ($6.00) bail and broke his bail terms and then got arrested for breaking his bail terms by threatening the life Ndumie, the person who cares for victims, only to get set free again without even an appearance in Court.
RESULTING IN more threats to their lives . This is a call to action – We need to hear from Mainstream Media and Andile must go back into prison, and his family put on notice for continuing the threats to life. Short of this more blood will shed and this is an outrage.
Letter from Ndumie Funda from Luleki Sizwe in her words (English her second language)
To Melanie Nathan
I pray every day that you don’t get tired of reading my sad emotional draining emails, yesterday was another day for me, where i got approached by 2 guys whom i grew up with in Gugulethu. They warned me that Andile the Ngcoza’s family has asked them to look me up and their are also his acquaintances. The didn’t know it was someone that they know, still i don’t trust them . Another stress i just received a call from the investigating officer Mr Sonday that the Andile was released by the magistrate because he said to them he was in Gugs mall because he was asked to drive his sister plus they were preparing for the family funeral of his late sister, who’s funeral happened last month. So in all his out again this time its me who’s not safe. Sonday has asked to be careful where I’m going. Those who’s been to my place you know that I’m not safe at all. prayers…prayers i need that. I’m not sure of my safety any more. eish I sleep with my golf stick every night.
I really feel like killing my self right now thn tching this justice sytem yeere god.
Here is a letter that the UK representative of Luleki Sizwe wrote to the Minister of Justice in South Africa. I have written to the South African Consuls in the USA and I think tourism ought to be threatened with boycott. Crime in South Africa breeds from ignoring the rights of all VICTIMS. I have canceled my vacation trip to South Africa as a result of this case; and may attend only for the trial.
Minister Jeffrey Thamsanqa Radebe, MP
Deputy Minister Andries Carl Nel, MP
Last week there was much news coverage in the UK of the hijacked wedding couple in Gugulethu and the tragedy of the terrible and violent loss of life. The police response and the capture of the attacker were prompt and applaudable.
BUT today I learn with disgust of the lack of response and support when the victim is not an overseas national with associated press coverage and risks to tourism income.
My friend Ndumie Funda has been acknowledged in the UK press and US and German news stations (to name but a few) for her work fighting against ‘corrective rape’ in the townships of Cape Town.
Ndumie has been supporting and campaigning for a victim of corrective rape whose case has been in court recently and which continues in to the new year. The accused was out on bail and has threatened Ndumie and other charity supporters. When he was found in Gugulethu in contravention of his bail conditions he was returned to jail but he managed to send men to follow Ndumie and threaten her safety. The police said that they were ‘unable’ to help. The accused has now been released and Ndumie’s life is in danger yet she has received no help from the authorities.
This is a disgrace.
Your country guarantees the rights of gay and lesbian people, including the right to same sex marriages and YET corrective rape continues within the townships and also continues to be ignored by the authorities and the justice system.
There are supporters around the world who are currently spreading the word of the current situation regarding Ndumie’s safety. In the light of your prompt action in the recent hijack case I sincerely hope that you can put the police to work protecting the safety and rights of your own citizens.
I draw your attention to your own service charter for victims of crime
- The right to be treated with fairness and with respect for dignity and privacy.
- The right to offer information.
- The right to receive information.
- The right to protection.
- The right to assistance.
- The right to compensation.
- The right to restitution
fighting against ‘corrective rape’ in South Africa
Ndumie Funda outside the two room shack that houses 15 survivors