Lost Girls of South Africa

ntombizanele

Ntombizanele (11) - the youngest and most vulnerable - fell victim to the growing phenomenon of gang rape by underage boys.  So ashamed was Ntombi of what had happened to her, that her mother only finds out about the rape from overhearing children’s gossip two days later.  Mother and daughter then walk for an hour to get to the hospital rape crisis centre, only to be turned away because they had not followed the correct procedure and reported to the police station first.  Her attackers are eventually arrested but immediately bailed. The boys – who deny the charges - live close by, so with heart-breaking stoicism Ntombi must now hide indoors for fear of seeing them in the street.  Nevertheless, they manage to get to her and threaten to kill her unless she withdraws the case.  The police listen and sympathise, but in practice there is nothing they can do …