Real rape victims’ suffer under expense of women liars

By Libuseng Nyaka

…as some women falsely accuse men of rape

BOTSHABELO – Women who falsely cry rape are undermining government and civil society’s efforts to stamp out the crime as this casts a pall of doubt over genuine victims’ claims.

While government is working hard to protect women against rape by imposing heavy sentences and denying rape suspects bail some women weaken these efforts by making false rape accusations.

On June 28, 43 year old Mantwa Sanah Totile reported to Botshabelo police that an officer at the station had raped her.

According to Police Spokesperson Captain Ray Kuhn, Totili told the police that a police officer locked her in the office and raped her around 6 pm.

Kuhn said: “A rape case was opened and investigated.Totile was taken to hospital for tests and no penetration could be confirmed. She also alleged to have gone to the bank before going to the police station but she doesn’t appear on video footage at bank for that day.

He said Totile was arrested and charged with perjury.

She appeared before a Botshabelo magistrate on Friday June 1. Trial has been postponed to August 12  for trial.

“This case should serve as a warning to any person laying false complaints at any police station thereby wasting time investigating false cases which time could have been used to solve real cases of rape,” Kuhn warned.

Totile is not the only one who tried to manipulate efforts made by government to curb the escalating rape statistics in the province.
A 14-year-old Free State girl has been charged with perjury and defeating the ends of justice for allegedly falsely claiming her stepfather raped her.

She apparently did this to hide her sexual relationship with her boyfriend, police spokesperson Warrant Officer Malebo Khosana said on Sunday.

The girl laid a complaint against her stepfather on May 23.

An investigation by the Thabong family violence, child protection and sexual offences unit discovered she had lied under oath.

Lead investigator Captain Jacques Rademeyer said they would do everything in their power to help sexual abuse victims, but would act against people who misled police.

Another case of perjury was heard in Butterworth Magistrate’s Court   where an 18-year-old schoolgirl falsely accused a police constable of rape, Eastern Cape police said.

Captain Jackson Manatha said Nobayanda Matsha, reported that she was raped on Sunday by a police constable at the Kei Bridge police station, but on Wednesday withdrew the case.

The policeman had been arrested by this time.

If she does not pay the R1 000 fine, she will spend 50 days in prison. The sentence was suspended for the next three years.

Matsha allegedly told the police that she had reported the “rape” as she was “scared of her parents” after having consensual sex with the man.

Independent psychologist Dr Teboho Tsoahae said the after effects of case like this are bad.

“We always hear of men who murder women after serving many years in prison and wonder why, not knowing that such men were falsely accused of rape and were punished for a crime they have not committed,” he said.

He said many women who lie normally do so to cover their bad behavior of as a revenge.

Ngemi Nahane coordinator of Free State Network of women fighting against gender based violence added that: “It is so unfortunate that among us there are some women who take rape for granted and abuse the initiative to serve their own interests thereby making it hard for real victims to be believed. But justice must be equal to everybody, a proper punishment must be imposed to stop send a clear message.”

Thabang Putsoa who was once falsely accused of rape and said he wished women who falsely accuse men of rape if found guilty must serve the same punishment that the man would have served if convicted.

“Even though I have served my sentences, I still feel bitter knowing that my dignity has been tarnished,” he said.

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