South African police have shot one person dead and arrested 42 other suspects adding to the two killed and 84 detained after eight models were viciously gang-raped by illegal miners.
The shocking crime took place while the women were shooting a music video near an abandoned gold mine in the wilds close to Krugersdorp, near Johannesburg on July 28.
The models and crew, the youngest of whom was 19 and the eldest 37, were raped up to ten times each over several hours by the criminals. Read previous story here
The gang also systematically robbed the crew and girls of their mobile phones, rings, jewellery, handbags, cash, and cameras.
The models and production crew were ordered to lay down at gunpoint before more assailants appeared from the scrub.
The gang took the models one at a time into the bush and raped them up to ten times each, while also relieving them of their personal property including phones, cash, wallets, purses, cameras and other valuables.
A 19-year-old victim said she lied to her attacker that she had suffered a miscarriage to be saved from being raped further, according to a Sunday Times South Africa report.
‘I had no way out but to lie, because they were picking us up one by one. There were others who were raped by six to 10 men,’ she said.
Her 21-year-old sister, who was raped in a ditch, said the girls’ ordeal lasted four hours.
The woman who had organised the models for the shoot said that she tried to protect them from the rapists and she was violated first.
‘They kept telling the younger boys to rape us and they’d hit them and force them to do so,’ she said.
Police Minister Bheki Cele said the crimes inspired police to ramp up a planned crackdown on general criminality in the area, including arms trafficking, illegal immigration, and theft of valuable metals.
‘We need to find those people [the rapists], but this operation is not just to respond to that [incident],’ he said, admitting that his department still did not know who exactly was responsible for the sex crimes.
More than 300 demonstrators, the majority of whom were women, were pictured marching outside the Krugersdorp courtroom yesterday evening carrying placards decrying the shocking crimes and the startling frequency of sexual violence in South Africa.
‘We are going to demand that the police station should be placed under administration because the community has reported many crimes committed by the (criminals) 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 the Monday 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,’ said Ms. Dabula.
The man killed by police this morning was shot at a disused mine in Luipaardsvlei, roughly 6 miles from a camp where many of the illegal miners – known locally as ‘zama zamas’ – are thought to be based.
Police said they spotted the man and an accomplice carrying a rifle and pistol, and shot one of them when they went to draw their weapons. The other suspect was arrested.
What happened in Krugersdorp is just a shame of the nation,’ Cele told a press briefing on Sunday, adding some of the victims would suffer long-term consequences.
‘Some of those destructions are permanent with those kids.’