A Pretoria lesbian has become the latest victim of so-called corrective rape, after a man she once dated allegedly tried to impregnate her.
The 25-year-old foreign national told the woman, 24, that homosexuality was an abomination in his home country, the Central African Republic, before allegedly raping her in a Sunnyside flat at the weekend.
Police spokesperson Captain Daniel Mavimbela said the woman and her friend had gone to a flat in Sunnyside on Sunday morning and found the suspect and the friend’s boyfriend there.
The alleged rape took place just after the couple left the flat to go and buy food, leaving the suspect, believed to be the victim’s ex-boyfriend, with her.
A sting operation and a manhunt was launched and the suspect was arrested on Sunday night, Mavimbela said.
Sunnyside station commander Brigadier Ramakamakama Kekana expressed disgust at the incident, saying that same-sex interactions were not “an atrocity” in the area.
“It is unacceptable that the suspect, in spite of the victim reportedly having made it clear to him that she no longer dated men, allegedly saw fit to enforce his own cultural beliefs on a vulnerable woman.
“People must understand that when you are in Rome, you do as the Romans do.
“Same-sex interaction is not an atrocity in Sunnyside – rape is,” he said.
The suspect appeared briefly in the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court yesterday. The matter was postponed to September 27 to enable him to appoint a legal representative.
Lesbian and gay organisation OUT said it was a challenge to create awareness about corrective rape both in the country and the continent, as homosexuality had been declared illegal in most of Africa.
According to OUT, 8% of homosexuals have reported being sexually abused or raped in the past two years, with the actual figure likely to be much higher.
OUT spokesperson Lerato Phalakatshela said yesterday that these kind of violent crimes were increasing in cities and urban areas.
“He is from a country where homosexuals are prosecuted and he comes to country where people are allowed to be themselves and fully express who they are. Even in South Africa, we might have beautiful laws on paper, but implementation on the ground is horrible.
“Lesbians are vulnerable to being attacked,” she added. – email@example.com