Outrage: 7 Men Face Charges For Gang Raping Mentally-Disabled Girl In South Africa On Camera

April 20, 2012  |  

South Africans are shocked and outraged over a disturbing video of seven teenage boys and young men sexually assaulting a mentally-handicapped teenage girl that has gone viral.

The video, recorded on a cell phone, shows the men gang raping the 17-year-old girl who went missing March 21 and offering her 25 cents to keep quiet.

“The girl can be heard pleading with the boys to stop. They crudely jest and crassly spur one another on,” journalist Mandy Weiner reported.

The accused range in age from 14 to 20 years old and are suspected of holding the girl as a sex slave in a Soweto township. Police found the girl on Wednesday in the home of a 37-year-old man who has also been arrested.

CNN reports that the Daily Sun, a local tabloid, alerted the police after a concerned mother whose daughter was watching the video handed it over to the paper on Tuesday. The mother confiscated her daughter’s phone and a work colleague said they recognized some of the boys and advised her to take the video to the newspaper.

According to Reuters, a front page editorial of the Star newspaper, one of South Africa’s biggest-circulation dailies, labeled the incident “Our Disgrace,” and government spokesman Jimmy Manyi described it as a “barbaric act.”

For as much discussion as the rape has raised, it’s unfortunately not all that uncommon of a crime in the country. Non-Governmental Organizations estimate a woman is raped every 26 seconds in the country. Other estimates say an average of 181 people are raped or sexually assaulted per day.

The men appeared in court yesterday and prosecutors said they could seek life in prison for the crime. They are being held until their next court date next week as the rest of the country continues to react.

“This episode must force us to take a serious look at ourselves and ask: how did we get here?” the Star editorial read. “How did we, as a people, raise monsters who find a joke in this repugnant act.”

Check out a video of CNN’s coverage below.

Brande Victorian is a blogger and culture writer in New York City. Follower her on Twitter at @be_vic.

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  • Gino00714

    don’t blame the lack of parentalship, any person know what is right or wrong don’t need a parent to tell you it is wrong to rape.

  • how dare this article call these animals “men”

  • Dest

    Im surprised the video wasn’t posted on worldstar

  • this hurts…makes me want to vomit and cry for this girl….just terrible. I’m so tired of hearing stories like this period….let alone from africa. How can we deal with this problem? 

  • Tasha

    I think they should be treated the same as they treated the girl. They should be raped to. Lets see how much they like it when its being done to them.

  • mochaaa

    “young man’s sport”? o my 

  • Coco Black

    Rape has been a serious issue in South Africa for many many years…it’s not just about women not having the same rights as men..that’s too simplistic. I believe it runs so much deeper than that. Why is rape so common in South African Townships?? And why do men think its ok to rape a child or a woman?? Rape is everywhere but why is it an epidemic in South Africa…….I hope they get caught!!! It’s disgusting.

    • Esther

       Notice how certain countries have certain common crimes that are epidemic? There are SPIRITUAL DEMONIC FORCES behind that. Taiwan & certain countries have CHILD sex slaves that many men from the US & Europe travel to get sex from. Slavery was abolished in 1833 but MENTAL SLAVERY still continues…It’s true what HEAVY said. Those myths are worldwide among the uneducated. It was around before AIDS for Gonorrhea & Syphillis. So now the plan of genocide has a domino effect. Not only are those who are infected dying they are infecting the innocent. SMH
      [THE FOLLOWING IS JUST MY PERSONAL OPINION BASED ON A DOCUMENTARY I SAW YEARS AGO BY A EUROPEAN: I believe AIDS was a disease created by the German’s during Hitlers times & not from Africans eating monkeys. The tainted blood was shipped all over the world years later from the North America which sells Blood plasma. They used it for Humanitarian Medical Aid & the rest is history. Think about it, there are people groups in the world who live in remote areas that have many married couples & have never been involved with outside groups, yet they have AIDS.]

  • So sad.  

  • Heavy

    In S.Africa raping a virgin is believed to be a cure for HIV and AIDS.  That is why there are so many incidences of babies being raped.  Babies are guaranteed virgins.  Anyway, why are boys always willing to follow?  What is this need to follow your boys?  Your telling me out of 7 boys, not one had the mind to say no.  S. Africa has a big issue with fatherless boys, this may be a reason in this case.

  • RedButterfly81

    This is sickening! Only a quarter to keep quiet, I’m sorry, if I was raped by a gang of guys, no money in the world will never keep my mouth shut, the rapists deserve to be punished for this!

  • Gimmeabreak78

    My God, this is atrocious.  I refuse to watch the video, but I know that this crime had to be particularly abhorrent if South Africa’s legal system (which is notoriously apathetic about women’s rights) is seeking to imprison these cowards for life.