[GRAPHIC CONTENT] Women in rural Eastern Cape continue to face GBV

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Women in rural areas in the Eastern Cape continue to be victims of violence and murder, the elderly and vulnerable are often at the receiving end.

Just recently an 82-year old blind woman, from Ngqamakhwe, faced death after she and her daughter were attacked at night, allegedly by a bush knife-wielding relative. Luckily they escaped death but sustained serious head injuries.

The 82-year-old woman is recovering at home after the horror attack.

“There was a knock and before we could answer, the door was kicked open. I asked what was going on and my daughter told me who the person was. He was standing next to my daughter. He then pushed me and hit me on the head. I felt something warm pouring out and it was blood streaming into my mouth.” relates the blind old woman.

Her daughter was almost raped, escaping with stab wounds.

“After he pushed me, he undressed me and stripped me of my tights and panties and threw them away. Before he could rape me, he said ‘I know that you will have me arrested, where is a condom?’ and I said I do not have his condom. He then stood up with his pants still on his knees. He hit me with a bush-knife on the head once and I lost consciousness,” says the daughter.

Villagers came to their rescue

Villagers came to the duo’s rescue, stepping in to assist them to get to hospital on the night of the attack.

One of the assistants, Thembinkosi Mzileni, accused the police of inaction.

“I would not say the police are of any help because I did not see them even on the night this elderly woman was attacked.  We tried several times to call them, but without success,” laments Mzileni.

The elderly lady also experienced violence before this attack. In 2013, she was brutally raped allegedly by someone known to her. To date, that attacker walks free. A local councillor from the Mnquma Municipality, Veliswa Mvenya, attended to the plight of the victims. She claims she discovered all is not well at the local police station.

Mvenya says as an example, after visiting the Ngqamakhwe police station after this incident, they’ve been allocated six vehicles, however only two work, whilst others are parked.

“They are broken for a long time, not just that time. They’ve been broken for a long time and then they don’t have a telephone. If anyone is calling the police station, they should have a cellphone number for one of the police officers that are working there, if they don’t have that cellphone, and then they can’t reach the police station,” Mvenya reiterates.

Police spokesperson Tembinkosi Kinana has confirmed a case of assault and attempted rape has been opened.

“According to the information, the suspect entered the house and attacked the family. During the incident the daughter managed to escape and called the neighbours who responded and rescued the elderly woman,” says Kinana

A 23 year-old suspect is in custody for the latest attack on the two women. He is due to apply for bail this week.