Eighty-four men in court accused of gang raping eight women in South Africa

Eighty-four men in court accused of gang raping eight women in South Africa

Posted For: AriesTonto

Maya Oppenheim

More than 80 men have appeared in court after they were accused of gang raping eight women shooting a music video close to an illegal gold mine in South Africa.

The 84 men, who are also suspected of carrying out an armed robbery of the production crew, were arrested at an abandoned mine after the alleged rapes and robbery near the town of Krugersdorp, to the west of Johannesburg.

Police minister Bheki Cele told a press briefing that the incident is “a shame of the nation”.

According to the police, the suspects are allegedly illegal miners known as zama-zamas who dig for gold in the Johannesburg area’s many closed mine shafts. Many of the illegal miners are foreigners.

The gang rapes occurred when a crew filming a music video at one of the abandoned mines was attacked by armed men on Thursday last week, according to police.

“The crew of 22 people – 12 women and 10 men – were busy filming a music video when they were allegedly attacked by a group of armed men clad in blankets,” said Lieutenant General Elias Mawela police commissioner for Gauteng province.

“The suspects ordered everyone to lay down and proceeded to rape eight of the women and robbed everyone of their belongings before fleeing the scene,” he added.

The crew were robbed of all their video equipment, and police are investigating 32 counts of rape, he said.

DNA samples from the women will be used to identify perpetrators, said police.

Others arrested are expected to face additional charges of illegal immigration and illegal mining.

More than 300 people demonstrated outside Krugersdorp Magistrates’ Court on Monday to express the community’s fury over the rapes.

News of the gang rapes and robbery have angered many in the area, who have complained that such incidents are rife around Krugersdorp.

“We are going to demand that the police station should be placed under administration because the community has reported many crimes committed by the zama-zamas but nothing has been done,” said Zandile Dabula, secretary general of Operation Dudula, an organisation that protests against illegal immigrants in South Africa.

The organisation was part of Monday’s protest outside the courthouse.

“It is clear that they are failing to deal with crime in this area so they should be placed under administration,” Ms Dabula said.

Gender-based violence is a major issue in South Africa, with the rate of sexual offences there one of the highest worldwide.


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