We’ve had enough, say residents

Mitchells Plain residents speak out against the rape, abuse and killing of women and children.

A Tafelsig woman who was raped says it isn’t just enough to march and shout slogans.

She said the community had had enough of the abuse and killing of women and children.

“We must discipline ourselves. We need to get to a place where we respect each other again,” she said.

The woman, who was first raped at the age of 15 while she was still in high school, was raped repeatedly by three different men over a period of eight years, close to her family home in Westridge.

“I was a silent sufferer, but through the grace of God, I was set free, free from all bondage and pain,” she said.

She spoke at a march in honour of every woman and child, who had been killed and sexually violated, in Woodlands – a stone’s throw from where a one-year-old girl, known as Baby C, was raped on the afternoon of Thursday August 22.

The 28-year-old nanny of Baby C, who stays around the corner from the family, brought her home as usual, and left. On returning home from work, the baby’s mother changed her nappy and it was then that she noticed blood and bruises.

She was taken to hospital for a medical examination, where it was confirmed she had been raped.

A charge against the 57-year-old Woodlands man suspected of the rape of the one-year-old Woodlands girl was provisionally withdrawn because there was insufficient evidence.

Recalling the impact her experience had had on her, the rape survivor who spoke at the gathering said: “I had to drop out of school; I could not fulfil the dream I had. The first time I was raped, I was a virgin. Ek was gevat net soos hy wou,” she said.

“I turned to drugs, Satanism and attempted suicide. Drugs consoled me. I had the clearest of minds when I was high.”

Alvina Spike, founder and director of New Creations Outreach, who has a programme called Break my Silence, said breaking the silence was not only about speaking out but about tackling one’s fears, emotions and anger.

Ms Spike encouraged young women to walk away from relationships which were not good for them and challenged the community to speak out against the wrong they saw around them.

“We see something is wrong or different in a young person. We ask ‘are you alright?’ They say they are not alright, but you walk on. We forget to turn back to ask ‘why are you not alright?’” she said.

The march was co-ordinated by New Creations Outreach, Lentegeur Community Police Forum, Mount Hope, Supporting People In Need (SPIN), neighbourhood watches and SAPS.

For more information about abuse and help call Ms Spike on 073 931 6029.