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Outrage in South Africa as gang rape charges are dropped


JOHANNESBURG – Women’s rights groups in South Africa on Thursday expressed outrage and criticized the police for perceived failure after charging 14 men accused of gang rape and robbery. female crew members at an abandoned mine in Krugersdorp, west of Johannesburg.

State prosecutors said there was not enough evidence against the men to proceed with the case.

The men, believed to be illegal miners, were arrested during a police raid at the mine site after at least eight women were attacked and raped while they were filming a music video on Sunday. July.

Reports of the rapes sparked violent protests in towns around Krugersdorp as community members accused small-scale miners working in the abandoned mines of committing crimes. .

Protesters also descended on abandoned mines, blocking holes that miners used to go underground and burning makeshift tents and their belongings. The miners were arrested, assaulted and handed over to the police.

Police Minister Bheki Cele called the rapes a “national shame” and police initially arrested more than 80 men before charging 14.

However, the rape and robbery charges were withdrawn on Thursday and South Africa’s National Prosecution Service (NPA) said the DNA results could not link any of the men to the rapes. rape.

“After consulting with the complainants on this matter and the documentary evidence currently being processed by the NPA, it became clear that there was not enough evidence to proceed with the prosecution,” said spokeswoman Phindi. NPA’s Mjonondwane said.

The Gender Equality Commission, an organization that advocates for women’s rights, has called on police to quickly restart the investigation.

“We are completely outraged by these latest developments, which mean that the police do not know who committed this crime. They caught the wrong person, so the real criminals are still out there,” said spokesman Javu Baloyi.

The Sisonke Foundation, which organized protests at the courthouse during the suspects’ appearance, also called on police to act quickly to find those responsible.

Prosecutors say the 14 men now only face immigration-related charges because they are suspected of arriving in South Africa illegally.

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