Tuesday, 12 October 2004

Durban mom's 18 hours of terror

Anil Singh

October 11 2004 at 11:51AM

It's a nightmare every woman dreads - being stopped at gunpoint and raped.

A 27-year-old Hillcrest mother was terrorised for more than 18 hours and held captive and gang raped after she and her three-year-old son were hijacked at the weekend.

But it took detectives from the Durban Serious Violent Crime Unit and Operation Greed a couple of hours to arrest the alleged rapists.

The woman and her son were returning to their smallholding after shopping in Pinetown on Saturday when her terrifying ordeal started.

The slightly built mother was no match for her attackers.

She was bundled into the boot of her car and told that her son would be harmed if she screamed or attracted attention.

The woman told detectives that she was driving towards her farm at about 11.30am when she saw a man flagging her down, but she did not stop.

The next moment a gunman jumped out from the bushes and pointed a gun at her head.

The gunman was then joined by another man who ordered the woman into the boot of of car. They told her son to remain in the back seat and not to cry otherwise they would kill his mother.

The attackers then drove off in the car for several hours and even stopped at a garage to fill up with petrol.

The woman told police that through a gap in the boot she could see that they had stopped on the forecourt of a service station.

The men also withdrew money from the woman's cash card after threatening to kill her child if she did not give them the pin number.

The woman was taken to an abandoned shack in the Molweni area, were she was raped repeatedly. She was then tied up.

The two men then took her son with them and went on a joyride in the Pinetown area. It is believed that just before midnight the men withdrew more money from the woman's account.

The attackers returned and again raped the woman.At about 4.30am on Sunday they gave the woman her car keys and told her that she was free to go.

The terrified mother grabbed her son and then drove off as fast as she could.

She stopped at the first garage she came to and phoned her family and told them what had happened.

The family who had been looking for the mother and child raced to her side.

On Sunday the woman was taken to a district surgeon at Addington Hospital and later given anti-retroviral medication.

While she has to deal with the traumatic situation of having been raped, she also has the agonising wait to see if she has been infected with HIV and Aids and also the possibility of pregnancy.

On Sunday the Durban Serious Violent Crimes Unit and Operation Greed - a rapid response crime fighting unit - took over the investigations.

Police spokesperson Superintendent Danelia Veldhuizen said within hours of the rape being reported detectives made a breakthrough in the case.

A team of detectives, led by Captain Muzi Sibiya and Inspector Sagie Govender, arrested a 24-year-old man in the Hillcrest area late on Sunday afternoon.

The detectives worked throughout the day and just before 10pm arrested a second man at a house in Mariannhill.

They also took possession of a gun and a bank card belonging to the rape victim.

This article was originally published on page 1 of Daily News on October 11, 2004



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