What was supposed to be a prayer day turned into a horror for two teenagers who were allegedly ambushed and raped on their way to church by an unknown man.
The two cousins, aged 13 and 14, were on their way to church when an unknown man followed them and threatened to stab them if they screamed.
The mother of the 13-year-old rape survivor said the cousins left home on Sunday to attend church at a neighbouring village in Mokwakwaila area in Bolobedu, outside Modjadjiskloof, Limpopo.
“They told me that a man followed them after they crossed a river situated between two villages. He approached both of them and immediately produced a knife and threatened to kill them if they screamed,” she said.
The heartbroken mother added that the man dragged them into the bushes and raped them.
“At least one managed to escape and ran to the neighbouring village for help. When we got there, the suspect had already disappeared.
“We only saw his traces as he went further into the bushes,” she said.
The mother said her daughter’s behaviour has changed and that she was afraid the incident might have dire consequences on her. “She hardly sleeps at night and is moody. I don’t know how to talk to her anymore. I think she needs counselling as social workers will tell us how to approach her going forward,” she said.
She said the two had not seen any social workers but continue going to school.
Police spokesperson Brig Motlafela Mojapelo said only a case of a 13-year-old was opened so far.
“It is alleged that on this day, a 13-year-old girl was dragged to the bushes and raped by unknown man while on her way to church. The suspect is still unknown and no arrests have been made yet,” he said.
Mojapelo said investigations were under way to confirm if there were two victims.
Local induna Malekutu Rabogale appealed to the police to do regular patrols in the villages to curb crime.
“We are worried that our children are being targeted by rapists. We call on the police to protect our children, we hardly see police vans patrolling our area,” Rabogale said.
In a separate incident, Mojapelo said investigations into the murder of Success Makhubela, 15, of Dengeza village in Giyani was ongoing.
He said Makhubele was stabbed to death on his way from church earlier this month.