MBOMBELA – As this month comes to an end and various sectors have been celebrating women, sex workers still seem to experience abuse in their trade.
Some of them claim they are abused by the people who are supposed to protect them – police officers.
A 31-year-old woman, who wanted to remain anonymous and has been in this trade for four years, said last Friday she was gang raped by five men on the Noordkaap Road near Barberton and lit cigarettes were inserted in her private parts.
“I was doing my job on Friday since it was one of the busy days in the industry, when a man, who drove a red BMW with an MP registration, approached me and I opened the door.
“He said we needed to be out of the CBD and I thought maybe he was one of the prominent people in town.
“We then hit the R40, I thought we were going to Badplaas and he wanted to book me for the whole weekend as some of our clients usually do. On our way, he made a call, informing someone that he was sorted, then we took the Noordkaap Road, and that’s where it started,” she said.
The woman told Mpumalanga News that they then met up with four men and one of them asked how much she charged.
They then told her that they were not going to pay now since they wanted to experience her services. “The second one also wanted my services. They gave me R200, but I refused to sleep with the others because they had only paid for one person, but they all forced me get naked as one of them pointed a gun at me.
“I cooperated very well as I know that sex workers are killed like flies. They then all demanded sex, after the whole process, they all smoked. At a later stage, they started to insert cigarette butts in my private parts, which carried on for hours.
“The guy who brought me from Mbombela said I must go. “I hitchhiked naked as they had taken all my clothes and the R200. The driver said he wouldn’t waste his petrol to transport a whore and they then started calling me horrible names,” she said.
“I kept asking myself: how long are we going to be treated like animals? I have noticed that the SPCA plays an important role in protecting the rights of animals, why are we not given that special treatment by legalising prostitution? We will be able to report such cases of abuse. Even if you go to a police station, when they notice that you are a sex worker, they don’t take you seriously,” she said.
This disturbing incident has been condemned by the Nguni Cluster of the Mother’s Union of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa.
The president of the organisation, Ms Thembsie Mnchunu said, “It’s very sad to hear of such incidents during this important month where we promote that women must be respected.”