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Call for justice after mentally challenged rape victim paid R50 in ’hush money’

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The 26-year-old woman disclosed her ordeal to a family friend – that the man had allegedly tricked her into meeting up with him before the ordeal.

Alleged rapist ’paid mentally challenged woman R50 to keep her silence’

CAPE TOWN – Advocacy groups have called for justice to play its role and not fail a mentally challenged woman from George who was raped and allegedly paid R50 in exchange for her silence.

The 26-year-old woman disclosed her ordeal to a family friend – that the man had allegedly tricked her into meeting up with him before the ordeal.

According to Southern Cape police spokesperson Malcolm Pojie the 46-year-old man was arrested on the weekend by the George SAPS Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences unit.

“The date and time of the event is unknown (at this stage). The victim disclosed her ordeal to a friend of the family, alleging that the suspect arranged with her to meet secretly with him in bushes near Mission Street, Pacaltsdorp where he raped her and paid her R50 to keep her silence.”

Pojie said on Tuesday that he was waiting for an update from the investigating officer as the suspect was expected to appear in the George Magistrate’s Court soon.

Women and Children’s Rights NGO Ilitha Labantu spokesperson Siyabulela Monakali said they were concerned by the high rates of violence perpetrated on vulnerable persons.

Monakali said the “hush money” behaviour was indicative of moral degradation.

“These perpetrators also prey on the vulnerability of intellectually disabled and physically disabled persons; not enough attention is placed on the fact that persons with disabilities are susceptible to all kinds of victimisation both in the home and out in society.

“We appeal to our justice system to impose the harshest sentence on those accused of violating persons with disabilities or mental challenges,” he said.

Monakali also called for community members to play their part in the protection of the rights and dignity of people living with disabilities.

Executive director of Philisa Abafazi Bethu (Heal our Women) Lucinda Evans questioned how many more women had to pay for the price of patriarchy in South Africa.

“The law does not protect able bodied women and not-abled bodies women are even more vulnerable. We hope that this perpetrator does not get bail, let’s say his name so that everyone knows who the rapists are,” said Evans.

In another incident in Buffalo Close, Parkdene, a suspect who allegedly repeatedly raped his inebriated girlfriend early on Saturday morning, was also expected to appear in court on Monday.

Pojie said the 46-year-old was drinking with her boyfriend and another friend when she became intoxicated and went to bed to sleep.

“Later she was disturbed by someone on top of her, violating her. She then fell asleep again. However, she awoke again later to find the same suspect on top of her busy raping her for the second time. She reported the incidents to Conville SAPS,” he said.

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