Seven more men who have been charged in connection with the gang rape of eight women in West Village, west of Johannesburg in July, will be back in the Krugersdorp Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday.
They are charged with multiple counts of rape, sexual assault and robbery with aggravated circumstances.
The accused are part of the 81 suspects arrested a day after the gang rape of women who were part of a production crew shooting a music video at an abandoned mine dump.
Their legal aid representative told the court they elected not to apply for bail.
Last month, one of the Krugersdorp gang-rape survivors said she feels like they have been forgotten by society, as most of the focus is on the suspects and not on their pain.
“I know there have been arrests that have been made. But it’s like we are forgotten. It’s all about the arrests they have made and the numbers. No one is coming [to] check on the victims. How are you guys holding up, do you have food, what do you need? Mentally, I get anxious, I get palpitations, and I don’t sleep at night. I have to be strong for my child.”
WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT | Krugersdorp gang rape survivor speaks out:
Taking part in a ministerial briefing session in the National Council of Provinces (NCOP), Police Minister Bheki Cele said the DNA tests of the eight women who were raped would be prioritised.
Police have been widely criticised for the backlog at DNA labs. The backlog runs into thousands.
It has resulted in survivors of gender-based crimes waiting at least two years for their cases to make it to court.
But, Cele told MPs that more than 12 000 cases have been prioritised, including those of the eight women who were gang raped in Krugersdorp.
“We have agreed that they will be prioritised, including cases of eight ladies have been prioritised. We have renewed contracts, we have appointed people [who were] removed from the system and all machines are working,” he said.
Additional reporting by Chriselda Lewis.