When will most South African men learn how to protect women and children? This has been the question on the lips of concerned citizens because of the outrageous attacks and assaults on women and children.
A 15-year-old girl who was gang-raped and injured so badly that she has to undergo a hysterectomy now lives in constant fear.
Nolwazi Xaba lives with her family in Duduza‚ a township 50 kilometres east of Johannesburg.
She has not only been forced to live with the terrible injuries that have left her unable to ever have children‚ but she is terrified.
The young woman was threatened by the nine men who attacked her‚ and told that if she ever laid a case against them they would kill her family and do the same to her younger sister as they did to her.
Caught between her terror of a repeat attack and not cooperating with the authorities helping her‚ Nolwazi felt compelled to open an assault case.
It has been only a month since the incident that wrecked her life took place. She left home as normal on Monday morning‚ July 24‚ and headed out for school.
On her way‚ she was grabbed by a group of nine men‚ who took her to an RDP house in the neighbourhood‚ where five of them raped her.
“They then put a cloth into her vagina and forced her to go to school in that condition‚” said Nolwazi’s mother‚ Faith Xaba (*not her real name).
Nolwazi’s school is opposite a police station. But Nolwazi was too scared to go there and report what had happened to her. Her attackers had threatened her‚ promising that if she reported them‚ her whole family would be killed.
It was only after a few days that Nolwazi eventually opened up to a social worker at her school. She was taken to the clinic where it was found that her womb had been badly damaged and needed to be removed.
“My daughter will not have children in her life. And I have now been given papers that I need to sign to confirm that she can have the operation‚” said her emotional mother.
Meanwhile‚ the attack has made Nolwazi withdrawn. She no longer likes to speak and has not yet returned to school.
Police has managed to arrest one of the suspects and the rest are on the run.