The Krugersdorp gang rape incident still lives fresh in the memories of those who were left gob-smacked when the news broke this past weekend.
Krugersdorp gang rape: What charges do the suspects face?
However, four days after eight women were allegedly sexually violated by a large group of gun-wielding fiends in the mine dumps of the West Rand in Gauteng, authorities have yet to link a rape charge to any of the 80-plus suspects nabbed in connection with the incident.
The suspects, as reported by News24, appeared briefly at the Krugersdorp Magistrate’s Court on charges related to attempted murder, illegal mining, immigration-related offences, and the unlawful possession of firearms and explosives.
At this time, no mention of sexual assault has been made yet, and it remains unclear what the delay may be. In a statement released on Sunday, 31 July 2022, Police Minister Bheki Cele confirmed the police’s response to the shocking gang rape resulted in the arrests of at least 84 suspects, two of whom died in a fiery encounter with a multi-disciplinary task force.
With regards to linking the suspects to the Krugersdorp gang rape, however, Cele only noted that biological tracing efforts are still underway to determine whether any of the men in custody did, in fact, participate in the alleged mass sexual assault.
“Police are in the air and on the ground, squeezing out criminals regardless of whichever hole they are hiding in. We know this community has been vocal about criminals making their lives a hell there and we are turning the tide. I am also satisfied with the briefing by the detective teams about the progress to fast-track biological evidence processing to link some of the arrested suspects to the rape of the young women,” the minister said.
What happened to the alleged rape victims?
The merits of the events that unfolded at an abandoned mine dump in West Village, Krugersdorp, are still subject to investigation and what we know so far is based on the accounts of victims who were targeted in the horrific incident.
It’s believed at least eight women were lured to the desolate mine dump synonymous with ‘zama zama’ (illegal miners) activity by a group of music producers who were out shooting a video.
According to reports from City Press, the women were paid R300 each to participate in the music video shoot. At some point during the production, a large group of armed men dressed in ‘Basotho’ blankets and balaclavas appeared out of nowhere, firing warning shots in the air.
The armed suspects robbed the crew of their equipment, cellphones and clothing. The women, unfortunately, were also allegedly gang-raped, the youngest of whom was 19 years old.
“These young women are traumatised and are not in a good shape, mentally or otherwise. This is why the Gauteng MEC of community safety, Faith Mazibuko, has sent psychologists and councillors to provide mental healthcare to them. I have also requested Social Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu, to offer more support and immediately initiate restorative efforts for these young women whose only goal was to earn a living, only to be met with such brutality,” the police minister said.
The Krugersdorp gang rape case still remains without suspects linked to the tragedy.