The police in South Africa have arrested a man for allegedly raping a 17-year-old in a maternity ward shortly after she had given birth at a yet-to-be-identified hospital in the town of Mthatha.
Mthatha police spokesperson Captain Dineo Koena said the 30-year-old man, on Tuesday morning, posed as a doctor who was visiting the teen mum to do a post-natal check up on her after delivery.
“…He asked her how she was doing following the birthing experience. She complained of heavy bleeding and he said he would a check-up on her‚” said Koena.
“He then ordered her to undress and then he raped her‚” Koena added.
Authorities alerted the police and the man was arrested at the hospital about three hours after the incident.
The suspect is expected to appear before the Mthatha Magistrate Court on Wednesday, September 26, facing a charge of rape.
The police are yet to disclose the name of the hospital, with government officials only saying that the incident did not take place at a public hospital.
This is one of the sexual abuse cases currently making the rounds in South Africa.
In a related story, a 20-year-old man has allegedly raped a seven-year-old girl in a restaurant toilet.
According to news site BBC, the man allegedly followed the victim into the women’s restroom before snatching her and raping her in the men’s section.
Police have since arrested the suspect and he has been charged with rape and possessing drugs.
He has been remanded in custody and has not yet been asked to plead.
Rape and violence against women have been an ongoing problem in South Africa, with children and teenagers being the worst affected.
Many attribute the types of rape they see in South Africa to those perpetrated during armed conflict, in terms of the degradation, ritual humiliation and the extent of injuries, such as mutilation, that are involved, according to reports by rapecrisis.org.za.
Researchers have found that South African women are raped and then murdered twelve times more every year than in the United States.
Police crime statistics released in September 2015 state that in 2014/2015 there were a total of 53 617 sexual offences reported to the South African Police Services (SAPS), translating into 147 cases per day.
There are so many other incidents of rape that go unreported due to reasons such as the fear of retaliation or intimidation by the perpetrator, the personal humiliation of being exposed as a victim of rape and the fact that many survivors lack access to services.
In May, 23-year-old Khensani Maseko, a student at Rhodes University in Germantown, South Africa was raped by another student.
She reported her assault in July and was scheduled to return to school on August 6 for the commencement of an investigation. She agreed to take time away from school to process the tragic event.
On August 3, She left an enigmatic message on her Instagram page that stated, “No-one deserves to be raped!”
She then took her life.
The alleged assailant was suspended from the university and an official investigation was launched to ascertain the events that unfolded before Maseko’s death.
Maseko’s passing ignited a flame in the fight for sexual violence against women in SA.
In August this year, women in various parts of South Africa took to the streets to protest the increasing levels of gender-based violence in the country.
Dubbed an ‘intersectional women’s march,’ the march organized by WomenProtestSA called on men to stop the abuse of women and children.
Sadly, sexual assault has been used as a heinous tactic in war as is the case for Kasoke Kabunga, who was raped by armed guerilla men in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Kabunga contracted HIV after her ordeal. Her daughter, who was also raped died as a result.
The mindset of some Africans as it relates to sexual assault tends to be un-empathetic and seen as a norm.
The Gusii tribe of Kenya practice a ritual in which women are kidnapped by a suitor, then raped all in efforts to ensure marriage without the worry of paying bride prices.
A recent documentary by the BBC also exposed David of Diepsloot, South Africa who admitted to raping women while fully aware that he is HIV positive.
When asked how he feels about others catching the deadly disease due to his actions, he responded “I feel okay,” “I feel good because I can’t die alone.”
A report by The Trumpet states that one out of three South African girls will be raped before she turns 18, with women having a greater chance of being raped than of graduating from high school.
What is worrying is that out of those accused, only a few are convicted and protests against this inhumane act appear not to be loud enough.