MORE than 80 suspected rapists are facing calls to be chemically castrated after allegedly attacking a group of models in a sickening attack.
The eight models were repeatedly gang raped while filming a music video after 17 men in balaclavas suddenly appeared on set firing shots in the air.
More than 80 people appeared in court on Monday after the models were gang-raped at gunpoint by an armed gang.
The youngest victim, a 19-year-old, was raped 10 times, while the eldest was 37.
They had been recording a gospel music video when they were set upon at an illegal gold mine in Gauteng Province, South Africa.
The horrific crimes have shocked South Africa, which has the third-highest rate of rape in the world, renewing calls for the chemical castration of convicted sex offenders.
The leading ANC party’s Women’s League proposed chemical castration as a punishment for rapists at a conference on Sunday.
Lindiwe Sisulu, who chairs the commission, told the media on Saturday that the proposal had been revived in response to a series of recent shocking attacks on women in South Africa.
“What happened in Krugersdorp is just a shame of the nation,” Police Minister Bheki Cele told a Monday press briefing.
One 19-year-old victim lied to her attacker that she had suffered a miscarriage to save herself from further rape, the Sunday Times South Africa reported.
“I had no way out but to lie because they were picking us up one by one,” she said. “There were others who were raped by six to 10 men.”
Her ordeal lasted for four hours, according to the woman’s 21-year-old sister, who was also raped in a nearby ditch.
The victims tried running away but were stopped by a volley of shots fired into the air.
They were then forced to lay down as a group of men wearing balaclavas approached.
Mobile phones, jewellery, bags, cash and filming equipment were also stolen by the gang before they took one model at a time to the undergrowth and raped them up to 10 times each.
The victims were raped 32 times in total before police arrived.
Gunfights broke out with cops, at the end of which two miners were dead and a third injured, according to the Child Protection and Sexual Offences Unit.
I had no way out but to lie because they were picking us up one by one
Following the shootout, 65 “illegal” miners were arrested.
Police spokesperson Brigadier Brenda Muridil said the crew of 22 people – 12 women and 10 men – were filming a music video when they were attacked by a group of armed men.
It’s believed the models had come from nearby Johannesburg. They’d been hired for a day, it’s reported.
Cops recovered unlicensed firearms, explosives and items that belonged to the victims during a sting.
Speaking last week, Cele said: “The operation is ongoing until all of the suspects are found.
“The response will be serious to show the state our protection of young women is clear.
“One woman was raped 10 times and other eight another six and so on. They were all robbed and all their stuff was taken, including their shoes and clothes.
“Even the men were stripped with many left naked or just their underpants on.”
How you can get help
Women’s Aid has this advice for victims and their families:
- Always keep your phone nearby.
- Get in touch with charities for help, including the Women’s Aid live chat helpline and services such as SupportLine.
- If you are in danger, call 999.
- Familiarise yourself with the Silent Solution, reporting abuse without speaking down the phone, instead dialing “55”.
- Always keep some money on you, including change for a pay phone or bus fare.
- If you suspect your partner is about to attack you, try to go to a lower-risk area of the house – for example, where there is a way out and access to a telephone.
- Avoid the kitchen and garage, where there are likely to be knives or other weapons. Avoid rooms where you might become trapped, such as the bathroom, or where you might be shut into a cupboard or other small space.
If you are a victim of domestic abuse, SupportLine is open Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 6pm to 8pm on 01708 765200. The charity’s email support service is open weekdays and weekends during the crisis – firstname.lastname@example.org.
Women’s Aid provides a live chat service – available weekdays from 8am-6pm and weekends 10am-6pm.
You can also call the freephone 24-hour National Domestic Abuse Helpline on 0808 2000 247.
It’s claimed the men are members of a gang called Zama Zama, which is known to terrorise, rape, and rob locals, according to the Mirror.
They also venture into closed-down mines to look for gold and other valuable materials.