Victims urged to report assaults.
THE Commission for Gender Equality (CGE) has upped its antenna following a growing trend in which males are becoming victims of sexual assaults.
This comes after the latest incident in which a 25-year-old man was picked up by two females at a hiking spot on Grobler Street in Polokwane, Limpopo, and was later raped at gunpoint.
CGE provincial manager, Tshepang Mokghopong, said that it was not strange that a male would fall victim to sexual assault as they have noticed an increased pattern of such acts perpetrated against men: “We are very much aware that male rapes have shown an increase in our communities but one of the challenges we face most of the time is that the matters are put under the carpet and that people do not consider it as rape.
“There are still a lot of misconceptions around rape by other females but as the Commission we know that male rape exists, and we condemn it. We encourage people to report the matter to the police and if they have challenges in reporting the matter and that they face secondary victimization at the police station, they can come to the Commission and we can take up the matter with the police,” said Mokghopong.
He also said awareness campaigns were vital to eradicate people’s misconception about male rape. “Our vital role as the Commission is to monitor in terms of investigations and court observations through a Watch Through. This is to determine how the matter is handled as per the prescripts of the law because we have realized that some of the cases tend to disappear due to procedures that were not followed,” said Mokghopong.
Limpopo police have since warned members of the public to be cautious when hitch-hiking following the shocking ordeal of the 25-year old man who was given a lift by the two females from Polokwane to Tzaneen.
Police spokesperson Lt. Col Moatshe Ngoepe said: “It is alleged that on Saturday the 2017-12-09 at about 07:45, two women travelling in a sedan from Polokwane to Tzaneen, gave the victim a lift at a hiking spot until they drove into the bushes in Makgoebaskloof.
They pointed him with firearms, forced him to drink a certain substance and subsequently exchanged in raping him.”
Ngoepe said that after the ordeal, the women drove off with the victim and left him at a secluded place near the Tzaneen CBD. He said the two women were travelling in a Toyota Tazz with registration numbers CYRCLE 616 L.
The incident was met with mixed feelings by several male hitch hikers at different spots in Polokwane this week.
Lucky Baloyi, who was on his way to Tzaneen, told African Times that he was forced to hitch-hike: “This is indeed hard for me because every day I risk my life trying to get home because I don’t have money.
“Money is scarce out here and that is why you see us hiking.
“The little I get from piece jobs is the reason I am standing here today,” said Baloyi.
He also sympathized with the rape victim and called on the police to take the matter seriously.
“The police should take this thing seriously because as much as we can lie to ourselves and say that the man was weak, these sorts of things do happen and we never know who it might happen to.
“This is not different from rape against women because a lot of men go through this and they arescared of reporting it to the police as they might laugh at them,” Baloyi said.
But Peter Mathe just burst out laughing: “My brother this cannot be true because a man cannot be overpowered by women so easily. Also if it was that simple that he was drugged, how did the two women manage to arouse him? So, this is tricky to know what actually happened, but I think the police must look into it.”
Marcus Makgoba who is a regular hitch hiker at the Polokwane Circle intersection said that he understood the dangers associated with hitch hiking, but he could not resist the price difference as it was much cheaper and faster to reach his destination.