A PARTIALLY blind, 110-year-old Butterworth granny was raped in her house last week.
She said she was still in pain and battling to come to terms with what happened to her .
The centenarian was raped in her mud house in Jojweni village in Centane outside Butterworth on the night of Saturday February 9.
The incident has left people shocked and horrified, and even led Eastern Cape traditional leaders to call for a reconsideration of the death penalty .
The granny, who lived with her 22- year-old granddaughter, has since been removed from her home and is now living with her 60-year-old son and his wife in Holela, a nearby village, where she yesterday spoke to the Daily Dispatch from her bed. She is a grandmother to 21 children and great-grandmother to six .
She said she was alone at the time of the incident, which her neighbour, Cecilia Sikhumba, estimated must have been between 8.30pm and 10.15pm.
“I was sleeping when the man entered my house,” said the granny. “He did not say a word. I just felt his hand reach over my left leg and he pulled me from my bed to the floor. I hit my head against the cement and I started screaming and asked him what he was doing. By then he was on top of me and he put his left hand on my mouth as he used his other hand to undress me.”
The powerless granny said she could do nothing to fight him off .
“He got up and for a moment I thought he was finished and was going but he came back holding a knife and he started poking me to keep me quiet as he continued raping me,” she said.
Her attacker got up and fled the moment he heard her granddaughter singing outside the yard, she said. Her granddaughter was visiting friends when he broke in .
“She saw him flee and she came inside the house and found me lying on the floor crying. I asked her to call our neighbour,” she said .
Sikhumba, the neighbour, said she was woken by the scream of the grandchild knocking on her door . “I went to the house and found the old woman still trembling with fear and shock. We called the police and they arrived ,” said Sikhumba.
A suspect was taken in for questioning on Monday afternoon, apparently wearing clothes that fitted the description of those worn by the rapist. Butterworth police spokesman Captain Jackson Manatha said the suspect, a 28-year-old man from the same village, had already been questioned and a sample of his blood taken. The man was released pending forensic results.
“I have lost my appetite, my heart is heavy and I constantly feel like throwing up,” said the granny. “The medication from the hospital makes me sick.”
Reacting with shock to the incident Eastern Cape House of Traditional Leaders’ chairman Chief Ngangomhlaba Matanzima said the law was failing society as rapists were not convicted or were released on parole. “We can’t even keep up with the cases reported by the media. It is very painful to us to hear that old people and children are being violated like this. Nobody deserves such treatment,” he said.
Matanzima said police, traditional leaders, politicians and church leaders should come together to find a way to end the violence against women and children.
Contralesa president Patekile Holomisa was also shocked . “It is clear we need a punishment that is worse than a lifetime in jail ,” he said . — Additional reporting by Mamela Gowa and Sixolisiwe Ngele