By Charlene Smith (2006)
In April this year, a 22-year-old woman was gang-raped, allegedly by four farmers and a farmworker in the sleepy Boland wine farming village of Rawsonville. Her 15-year-old male friend was beaten so badly with iron bars that he is now brain-damaged.
Five months later, no one has been arrested or charged.
On Sunday the woman's home on the farm Groenvlei where she worked was attacked, allegedly by one of the rapists and others, and doors, windows and the roof broken, according to Debra de Vries of the NGO, Women on Farms.
Western Cape police spokesperson Superintendent Billy Jones said they were now investigating the cases, as "clearly something is irregular here".
Inspector Karsten Carstens, who led all three investigations, said he arrested five men after Sunday's attack but released them soon afterwards.
"I'm sending a docket to the prosecutor today to decide whether anyone should be charged," he told the Cape Times on Tuesday.
He referred other queries to Captain Johnny May, Rawsonville station commander, who said: "Investigations are being completed.
"The prosecutor will decide whether or not they need to prosecute.
"The man was in hospital and we did not know his grandmother."
This is despite the fact that the day after the attack the 15-year-old boy's grandmother laid a charge. The date on the affidavit taken by Inspector C Jacobus du Toit of the Rawsonville police is May 1 - but, the case number later assigned to it was for June 30 - almost two months later.
Carstens could not explain the discrepancy in dates.
He also could not comment on why the rape survivor who accompanied the grandmother was allegedly told by a police officer not to lay a charge but to let the case focus on the assault of the boy.
Jones said it "was highly irregular if the rape survivor was told this".
He said the Rawsonville police told provincial headquarters that the discrepancy in dates was because "the complainants have a family member in Ceres who is with the police and he took the statement".
However, when the Cape Times told him it had a copy of the statement on Rawsonville police stationery, signed and dated at Rawsonville by one of its officers, he asked for a copy of the statement and said, "something does not seem to be right. We have asked for full reports from the station commander and investigating officers."
Senior Prosecutor André Theron of the Worcester magistrate's court said: "It is strange that they sent the dockets to us for a decision, they usually only send it to us if there is confusion about the events and there were no witnesses."
He did a docket search and later found the three dockets but said further investigations and statements were necessary in all three cases before a decision to prosecute or not could be made.
Inspector Susan Beneke, area police communications officer initially agreed to investigate the matter but later referred queries to Superintendent Jones in Cape Town.
Four of the alleged assailants are prominent young farmers in the area. The Cape Times has the names of all five alleged attackers.
Since Sunday's attack on her home the rape survivor has been taken to a safe house by Women on Farms along with the 15-year-old youth injured in the attack and his mother.
• This article was originally published on page 1 of The Cape Times on September 13, 2006