A domestic worker who accused her employer of rape has been waiting for justice for four years

Four years after filing a rape complaint, an east London domestic worker is still waiting for the case to come to court. Photo: Nombulelo Damba-Hendrik

  • An east London domestic worker who filed a rape complaint against her employer four years ago is still waiting for the case to come to court.
  • Police confirmed the case was delayed due to DNA testing backlogs.
  • The woman, who says she was raped several times between 2016 and 2018, says she is losing faith in justice.
  • Such delays are not unusual, says an organization that helps rape victims.

An east London domestic worker is still waiting for the man who raped her four years ago to be brought to justice. The case was withdrawn due to delays in DNA testing.

Alice* from Mdantsane, says she was repeatedly raped between 2016 and 2018. She said at first that she did not report the matter to the police because her rapist threatened to kill her if she told anybody. In May 2018, she finally broke her silence and reported the matter to Vulindlela police station in Mdantsane.

Police spokesman Brigadier Thembinkosi Kinana has confirmed that the Mdantsane Domestic Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offenses (FCS) Unit is investigating a case of rape after an incident reported to the station. Vulindlela police on May 24, 2018. He said a 53-year-old man was arrested days after he made the charge, but the case was dropped pending DNA results.

Four years later, there is still no sign of the DNA test results.

Alice says she is slowly losing faith in the justice system.

“I knocked on so many doors asking for help. I even went to other police stations hoping to speed up the process, but nothing helped,” she said. declared.

She says she is now seen as a liar who tried to break up her employer’s marriage.

“His family members hate me because they think I lied to the police. To them, the fact that this case was withdrawn pending DNA test results means there was no business from the start,” she said.

Alice says she started working for the man’s family when she was 17, looking after the children. He started raping her when his wife left to study, she said.

“The man is a teacher and he works in a nearby school. The children used school transport. He waited for the kid to leave, then raped me. He would make sure I had a bath and rinse off the condoms before I left.

Alice says that on the day she reported the incident, the man had run out of condoms and had used a plastic glove from his wife’s clinic. “He told me to throw it in a trash can. That’s when I ran to the police station because I knew the evidence would be in that bin,” she said.

Alice says she took the police to the trash and the glove was found.

She says the police took her to the hospital and it was also discovered that she was pregnant. Her mother had advised her to have an abortion.

Kinana said he could not say when the DNA results would be available as it depended on the work of the forensic laboratory.

Nobesuthu Matoti of Precious Things, an organization that helps rape victims, said: “The backlog of DNA test results is a nightmare and the government is doing nothing to solve the problem.

She said the organization was waiting for six rape cases to come to court, including one from 2017. All are being held up pending DNA results.

Matoti said rape victims often end up losing hope and withdrawing the case.

“What frustrates us the most is that even the investigators don’t know the duration,” she said.

Questions sent by GroundUp to National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Luxolo Tyali had not been answered at the time of publication.

* This is not his real name

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