South Africa--I’ve been in this writing industry for two years now. I thought I would be used to hearing crazy stories by now, but some stories still manage to harden me.
A couple of weeks ago I got a chance sit down and talk to Makikani Mnisi, an 89-year-old granny from Songeni Village, South Africa. What happened to her really broke my heart.
Mnisi was fast asleep in the early morning of Monday when all of a sudden two men broke into her house. “They grabbed me by the throat and started choking me so no one could hear me scream,” Mnisi explained. “I tried to fight them off, but they were too strong for me. I could feel myself passing out.”
Nobody was there to help the granny. She lives alone in her one room house. All of Mnisi’s children have passed way. She has grandchildren, but they live with their mothers and never visit her. These two men knew this very well.
The men ten took turns raping Mnisi while they made sure no sound was coming out of her mouth. When they had enough they turned the place upside down searching for some cash. Mnisi receives old age grant so they managed to find R400, which she had saved up to buy cement and bricks to fix her children’s graves.
It was then that the two men realized that the light in the house was still on. They smashed the light bulb. But Mnisi had already seen who they were. She knew them very well. One of men was her friend’s son and the other was a well-known troublemaker in the community of Songeni. The grandmother told the men she knew who they were and that she would report them. The men ran out of the house.
When they were gone grandmother Mnisi ran to the chief’s man to report the matter. The man took her to the police station to open the case and the police went with her to the hospital. After the hospital the police took Mnisi home. When they got there they found one of the suspects in the house eating porridge and meat that Mnisi had cooked for herself. The police arrested him on the spot, though he tried to resist and said he knew nothing about the old ladies rape.
Now Mnisi is afraid to for her life. She spends her nights at her neighbour’s house. “I don’t ever want to see those men ever again,” she explained. “If it were up to me I would give them a life sentence because what they did to me is very devious.”
After the grandmother and I finished talking I felt so sad. I couldn’t even look her straight in her eyes. Rape is such a major problem in South Africa. A woman is raped every ten minutes here. Some guys really don’t know where to draw the line. It’s like they have been possessed by the devil or something. What ever happened to respecting the elderly?