Israeli tourist gang-raped on her birthday in Mpumalanga

Image: iStock

‘The president needs to implement a state of emergency,’ said a tourism official in response to the horrific incident.

In the week the country rose up in protest against the persistent killing of women and children, a young woman tourist from Israel was raped on her birthday by a gang of men in Graskop, Lowvelder reports.

According to a reliable source who cannot be identified for professional reasons, the tourists were on holiday when a gang entered their accommodation, forced them to undress, raped the one woman and robbed them of their belongings before fleeing the scene.

Graskop SAPS said they could not comment on the information since it was sensitive, but confirmed that it was under investigation.

Police spokesperson Brig Leonard Hlathi did not reply to any of the media queries.

Oupa Pilane, president of Kruger Lowveld Chamber of Business and Tourism (KLCBT), said such attacks impacted everything and that he was distraught about the attack on the tourists.

“On Monday we had a meeting with the MEC of community safety, security and liaison, Gabisile Shabalala, and we spoke to the SAPS’ provincial commissioner because these are organised crimes.

He once again said these crimes needed to be prioritised as the numbers of tourists visiting the area were declining by the day.

“This affects us and has an impact. We are really worried and we are currently also talking to our members,” he said.

Pilane said the violence against women and children was a great concern and he felt the country needed a state of emergency.

READ MORE: Man jailed for 15 years for gang-rape of girl in Eastern Cape

“The president needs to implement a state of emergency, the country is in a terrible state and crime is out of control,” said Pilane.

The incident marked another of the countless violent crimes committed against women and children daily, which sparked a massive outcry this week.

The murder of 19-year-old University of Cape Town student Uyinene Mrwetyana, allegedly by a post office employee, resulted in a mass protest in Cape Town with protesters blockading the entrance to the World Economic Forum on Africa in Cape Town.

People across the country have also signed a petition to bring back the death penalty, a matter which is reportedly going to be discussed by cabinet.

Ronald Lamola, minister of justice, said his department would be “open to looking at amendments to existing legislature” by way of a referendum to get harsher sentences for sexual offenders. He said, in 2018 and 2019, 4,716 sexual offence convictions were recorded.

In condemnation of the latest attack Ikosi SE Mahlangu, chairperson of the National House of Traditional Leaders said statistics indicated that 30 women were killed in August – a month dedicated to women.

The department of women, youth and persons with disabilities has asked South Africans to observe a national moment of silence and prayer on Sunday, to mourn women who have been killed due to gender-based violence.

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