Gang-rape and abuse at R’fontein dump site

Michelle Adams, Rashida Abrahams and Ward 8's DA councillor, Regetta Beaufort.

On Sunday, 1 October, about 60 adults and 17 children fled from the Randfontein Dump Site after having endured three years of abuse from a group of people, allegedly Basothos, at the site.

The Herald visited the victims on Tuesday, 10 October, at Carry You Ministries in Toekomsrus. There are now 25 adults and 17 children left who are being taken care of by Michelle Adams, a DA member from Ward 8, Rashida Abrahams from Westview Clinic, Kemajo coach, youth activist, chairperson for the Randfontein Youth Crime Prevention and DA Ward 8 councillor, Regetta Beaufort.

Also Read: Woman gang-raped at cemetery

The youngest child currently at Carry You Ministries is 11 months old, while the oldest is 10 years old. Of the women, two are suicidal, and seven are suffering from HIV, high blood pressure, and/ or diabetes.

Carry you Ministries opened its doors for them on Tuesday. They were previously housed at the Toekomsrus Community Hall.

Most of the victims spoke to the Herald, saying that one woman had been gang-raped, and although she opened a case of rape at the Randfontein Police Station, has not even received the normal SMS notification of the case number. A pregnant woman was also raped, and left covered in bruises from fighting back. The women said that they had previously opened cases against the ‘Basothos’, but nothing ever came of them.

Of the women, two are suicidal, and seven are suffering from HIV, high blood pressure, and/ or diabetes.

One victim alleged that it’s illegal miners that want them gone, because of the mining potential of the area. The women do recycling work at the dump site, but this has also become a problem for the ‘Basothos’, so they are battling to make an income.

Another victim claimed that the police do not go to the dump site often, and they believe the police just don’t care about their safety.

A further victim said that their Zozo huts are repeatedly broken down, and their children beaten and in general, abused. “They lived in fear every day of their lives,” said councillor Beaufort.

Also Read: Woman robbed, kidnapped, gang raped and beaten gets justice

The refugees also said that everything was fine until 2015, but since then, the violence and abuse has become part of their lives. The nights are worst, they said, and they have to keep the children indoors from 6pm.

They are also very angry and disappointed with the municipality, because they feel that the municipality has made promises to them, with practically no results. The only thing the municipality did for them was to install several water pumps, which the ‘Basothos’ now prevent them from using.

“These women’s hearts are in pieces,” said Abrahams. They are receiving counselling, and have been taken to the clinic for medical care. The three caregivers said they want to thank both Carry You Ministries and the woman who is cooking for the refugees.

Another refugee from the dump site.

Many people have donated food and other items, while others have paid for electricity. Anyone else who would like to make a donation to assist these refugees can call the Herald‘s office on 011 693 3671.

The Herald was unable to reach either the spokesperson for the Randfontein Police Station, or the station commander, Brigadier Manamela for comment. The municipality’s spokesperson, Tshidiso Thlaripe, was informed of the situation, but according to the Abrahams, has not responded.

Comment is awaited from both the police and the municipality.

Do you perhaps have more information pertaining to this story? Email us at [email protected]  (please remember to include your contact details in the email) or phone us on 011 693 3671.

For free daily local news on the West Rand, also visit our sister newspaper websites

Roodepoort Record

Krugersdorp News 

Get It Joburg West Magazine

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  AUTHOR
Maritza van Zyl
Journalist

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