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Faulty DNA Testing and Politics Continue to Fail South Africa’s Rape Victims

When news that a mob of men raped eight young women last summer during a music-video production set in an abandoned mining site in Krugersdorp, Sipehle wasn’t optimistic that the culprits would be prosecuted.

“My rapist walked free,” Sipehle said, explaining that it was because of a delay in DNA testing that her assailant was not convicted. Sipehle, 39, who asked that her real name be withheld for fear of her safety, told PassBlue that she was a victim of a rape that occurred in 2019 in East Rand, a district outside Johannesburg, South Africa’s commercial capital. The shocking case in Krugersdorp, a city outside Johannesburg, that occurred in late July led to about 80 men, mainly foreign illegal miners, being arrested. Women who protested the rapes held placards calling for justice outside the court where the men were arraigned. Yet questions remain as to whether the police arrested the culprits, or just swept up those who lived near the crime scene.

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