EXCLUSIVE | An attempted rape case is not taken serious and in most cases victims tend to keep quiet in fear of the stigma that comes with the issue. Often times victims are expected to keep quiet because it’s an almost rape incident not the completed rape.
This led to a young woman by the name of Nonelela Dude, a victim of attempted rape to face eviction at the Department of Correctional Services (DCS) for reporting an official who tried to force himself on her in February 2021.
Pursuit Media SA told eviction came after Dude, a 31 year old resident along with her son as a dependent to her mother who works for the DCS in Cradock in the Eastern Cape alleged that an official by the name of Benya tried to force himself on her but managed to fight him off and escaped.
The incident took place at the home of Ndzube who is a colleague of Benya.
However, She wrote a letter to the prison stating her concerns about her safety as she was afraid of the man who tried to sexually assault her and asking for him to be removed or withhold assigning him to the gate where she will walk past him more often.
As a result she received an eviction letter. The letter stated that they cannot remove Mr. Benya from their premises following the allegations not proven and that he was still an employee to the department. In order to guarantee her safety she was asked to vacate with immediate effect.
The letter was received on a Friday by Monday she had forfeited her right to request a meeting when three officials came to evict her in person. Nonelela recorded a 30 minutes audio of the conversation that took place the day of her eviction.
In a lengthy conversation in IsiXhosa One of the three officials is Ms. Hobe who is in charge of the prison and her two official Tshukuse as well as Magada.
Below is some of the things they said on the audio during the conversation with the victim.
“Pack girly and leave. That’s the only thing I came here to say. I even have to give a report on where you are now because the second you got that letter, you should have packed your bags and left. This matter has reached the regional commissioner.
“I didn’t sleep because of you and that will never happen because of you. You made us look stupid. Seeing police show up at our offices… When I got her letter, I reported it to the area commissioner and the regional commissioner.
“They know about this and we decided that she must go. We’ll deal with our member after all of that because we know nothing about this…..”
“The second I get to my office I’m going to type a letter that says Nonelela Dude must never be allowed through this gate. Then I’m going to report to my area commissioner. Here is Mr Tshukuse, here is Mr Magada who were part of the conversation. Discipline goes a long way. You see what happens when u don’t value parents? U get knocked down like this?”
“This child wrote her complaints down. That’s dangerous. If we sit on it, we don’t know who else has it and might show up and demand to know what action we’ve taken about it. If she had spoken to us maybe we might have been able to listen”
@_AfricanSoil I was evicted from a correctional services centre because I requested that they remove or restrict the movements of their employee who tried to rape. Can u plz RT? No1 shud eva get away with promoting rape or any GBV. Please help. pic.twitter.com/28DQXWvR3Q
— Noni (@Noni63211787) September 29, 2021
“Mr Tshukuse to add to what you are saying, we don’t even know anything about this incident. When I revealed to Makhuzeni that she is not employed by the department of correctional services, Makhuzeni said she must go…This one is the area commissioner. This one is the regional commissioner. I want to show you that it’s not just me here”.
Despite having being evicted with no place to stay but with the hope of getting some sort of justice and for the perpetrator to be suspended following the allegations as well as fearing for her safety.
Dude contacted the director of the department Ms. Ayanda Bonani in May 2021 and presented her case, the director temporarily terminated the eviction letter pending her investigation and promised a resolution in 30 days.
According to Dude, it’s been four months but still nothing from the director, Dude told Pursuit Media SA that she is not willing to give up on the matter as no woman should be treated in that manner and being punished for reporting.
“If I keeps quiet there will be more women and her wish is that none of those people who were unfair towards her should keep their jobs. She feels that what transpired was illegal and unconstitutional,” Dude said.