By Jonk wa Mashamba
Advocate Langutani Rikhotso (20) of Chavani village in Watervaal outside Makhado in Limpopo province was raped aged 16.
The ordeal happened when she was in grade nine (9) in 2016.
The woman, who now stays with her parents in Alex, has since dealt with the ordeal and trauma through motivational speaking, reciting of poems and writing of short stories.
She also has appeared on different media platforms where she openly spoke about what transpired on that fateful day.
The serial rapist identified as Hlayisani Foster Maluleke, apparently from Bungeni village, near Giyani, is now behind bars.
He was jailed in September 2016 after three other women opened rape cases against him which resulted in his arrest.
While some victims were reportedly badly beaten, others were dreadfully wounded when sharp instruments like pangas were used on them before they were allegedly raped by Maluleke.
However, ‘The Survivor’, as Langutani is affectionately called, says she was grateful that none of the above was used on her.
On 12 July 2016 around 5PM, The Survivor and her then-boyfriend (18) had just disbanded with other friends after a short gathering when, all of a sudden, two horrific hooligans emerged from nowhere.
The inhuman thugs immediately pointed the love-birds with firearms and forced them to a nearby Nwa-Sono Carwash where they delayed them till it was very dark.
After that, they took the couple to a long trench nearby.
“On arrival to the trench, the rapist took me to an isolated area, while his accomplice remained with my boyfriend.
“He ordered me to undress myself and said ‘if you want to come out alive, you must give me a leg.’ By that time I was confused because I didn’t know what he meant by giving him a leg. I asked him to explain that to me, and he said, ‘Pfutsek! You are pretending. You wouldn’t be strolling around if you didn’t know what I meant.’”
She said the thug began penetrating her without wearing a condom.
“I was very scared that he would impregnate or infect me with HIV.
“When he was done, he took my phone and asked if it had porno video or data so that he would download it.
“He had a foul smell all over his body, which clearly indicated he had not bathed for a long time. His teeth were horribly filthy.”
She said when it was the other criminal’s turn to rape her, he said to his accomplice, ‘show mercy on her.’
“But that fell into deaf ears as the rapist continued raping me and ordered me to scream.”
She detailed that when they returned to where her boyfriend was kept, a bag fully equipped with tools like spanners, screw drivers, sharp objects, pangas, ropes and other scary weapons, was opened.
“The rapist’s accomplice removed shoes, house keys, and a belt from my friend, while he was still lying on the ground. I thought they wanted to murder us.
“I prayed to God saying, I accepted the torture, but he should spare my life. I was thinking of my two male siblings. I also begged the thugs not to kill us.”
The Survivor said she had never begged anyone in that manner before.
“I kneeled down and I told him I was the only hope in my family. I told him my parents were unemployed.”
However, the rapist ordered her boyfriend to have sex with her while they watched.
“Luckily, my boyfriend pretended to have inserted his penis and faked the intercourse. I think the rapist was trying to eliminate evidence.
She said the vicious men left them in that dark trench.
“When they were few meters away, they shouted ‘hey come out, it is dark, go home.’”
Advocate believes that for her to be still alive was a grace of God.
She has since registered with Unisa for Social Work course.
“I want to help all victims of abuse and rape,” she said.
She has written more than 35 poems, one of them featured in the National Library of South Africa Book of 2019.
Her advice: “If a woman is raped, it is not her fault and she must not die silently.
“She should know that she’s not a victim of rape, but a survivor and it’s not a shame to be a survivor of rape.
“It’s a shame to be a rapist!!”