WARNING: Distressing content
One of the teen victims of a music video mass gang-rape in South Africa has revealed how the attackers spared the white women on the production while targeting the black and Indian models.
The shocking incident has sparked uproar in the country, with hundreds of furious locals taking to the streets after eight models were ambushed by a gang while filming a music video in Krugersdorp, Johannesburg on July 28.
The brutal attack took place at a disused mine in Krugersdorp, where production crew Red Button was filming a gospel music video.
The models and crew were ambushed by a heavily armed group of “illegal” miners, known as zama zamas.
After ordering everyone to lie down the men started taking the women one by one into the bushes to gang rape them.
The gang also took their mobile phones, jewellery, bags, cash and filming equipment.
The women’s nightmare lasted for hours with some being raped up to 10 times while the men of the crew were stripped naked and held at gunpoint.
Now two sisters aged 19 and 21 who accepted the 300 rand ($26) a day job to model in the music video have revealed in excruciating detail the horrific moments they suffered at the hands of their abusers.
Nomboniso, 19, whose name has been changed, told local paper City Press how the men raped the black and Indian women but left the three white women on the 22-person production team alone.
“We were excited when a local girl who runs a modelling agency told us about the photo shoot and promised us R300 each at a farm in Krugersdorp,” she said.
“Then it was decided to shoot another part at a mine and the place was beautiful then as we were about to film the last scene men began running at us firing gunshots in the air.
“They ordered everyone to lie down and more men came running out and they all had guns and they started searching us taking our phones and clothes and cameras,” the teenager said.
She described being forced into a car and raped until she started to bleed, before being raped by a second man who she asked to tell others not to attack her.
“I had to lie and say I had just lost my baby as they picked us off one by one,” she said.
Nomboniso said she sat on her sister’s lap to try and protect her but two men dragged her out of the car.
“The two men started raping me,” said her older sister, who was not named.
“They had guns and threatened to kill me if I didn’t do as they said. I started bleeding and that helped me.
“It was a very traumatic experience which lasted about four hours for all the girls and one of the ladies was raped in front of us.”
Another rape victim said she tried hiding in a tree for an hour but to no avail — she was also raped by four men.
The woman whose modelling agency organised the group of eight women to film rising star Malvery Martin’s music video said she offered herself to the gang to save the girls.
“The parents trust me and every time I go out they expect me to take care of their children,” she said.
“I was blaming myself if it wasn’t for me these girls wouldn’t be there.
“I felt responsible and wanted to take all the pain so that they wouldn’t touch the girls.”
She added that the older men would “force” the younger ones to rape them.
The victims will be tested for HIV and sexually transmitted diseases and are undergoing counselling and have returned to their families in Johannesburg.
As South Africans called for the chemical castration of the perpetrators, the country’s Police Minister Bheki Cele added to the fury after he said one of the victims was “lucky to have been raped once”.
“One woman was raped by 10 different men,” he said on live TV, in comments that sparked further riots.
“The other one by eight, the other one by six, the other one by four, the other by three. The 19-year-old was lucky – if it is lucky – to have been raped by one man as opposed to several men.”
His comment has caused outrage, with the DA calling for him to be removed from office.
Demonstrators clashed with police in the town of West Rand, where 126 people were arrested.
Protesters pelted cops with rocks and bottles and the police returned fire with rubber bullets.
South Africa has the third highest rape figures in the world.
The crime sparked a massive police operation involving hundreds of armed officers, dogs, air wing, drones and helicopters.
Police are looking for the men responsible for 32 rapes of eight girls and armed robbery.
Some 142 arrests have been made but none have been linked to the gang rapes.
President Cyril Ramaphosa has ordered Police Minister Cele to come down with an iron fist saying, “The perpetrators of this crime must be apprehended and dealt with.”
The zama zamas are known to terrorise, rape, and rob locals while they reopen old closed-down mines in a bid to find missed gold.
The massive police operation is ongoing and it is believed the rapists and armed robbers are among those arrested but so far none have been identified.
A South African Police Service source said, “Normally when an illegal immigrant is found they are deported but due to the national outrage an example will have to be made. The punishment should act as a deterrent to stop others crossing our borders.”
If you or someone you know is experiencing sexual abuse or family violence contact the National Sexual Assault, Domestic Violence Counselling Service 24-hour helpline 1800 RESPECT on 1800 737 732
This article originally appeared on The Sun and was reproduced with permission