Khayelitsha woman desires peace after rape and abuse

Ayanda Msimago, a 27-year-old from Khayelitsha, just wants to live a safe and peaceful life.

In September last year, she was raped, beaten, stripped naked and thrown out of her shack by her ex-boyfriend Sipho Qokela.

As we sit in a room at the Saartjie Baartman Centre, her tears roll down her face recalling the times he hit, choked, and embarrassed her in front of her neighbours. Msimago said Qokela had abused her since she was pregnant with his child.

She said in September, he beat her, and she reported the matter at Site B police station in Khayelitsha.

“The first police officer did not want to assist me. So I walked around, saw a light burning and went to the room where the light was burning and approached a female officer, she was a captain and assisted,” she said.

Msimago said the police looked for Qokela and could not find him. Three days later, Qokela returned to the house where she was alone. He found her and raped her.

“He forced himself on me, he hit me, and he went to tell people about my status. So I went to the police station again to open another case,” she said.

Qokela was arrested, but she heard he was on the street again after two weeks.

“People have said they’ve seen him,” she said. “I am scared; I don’t know what to do. My child, who is one year old, has been taken away from me and is with social services, and I am here at Saartjie Baartman,” she said.

Msimago has been at the centre for the last three months and is also doing cleaning work to earn some money at the centre.

“I want that man behind bars, and he should not be near my child or me. I want to live a peaceful life,” she added.

Action Society has taken on the case. Msimago has mandated Action Society to assist with further investigation on the matter and with prosecution oversight.

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