My Neighbour The Rapist – Full documentary – BBC Africa Eye

My Neighbour The Rapist – Full documentary – BBC Africa Eye

My country South Africa is in the grip of a rape crisis. We’d actually rape your girlfriend with you watching us. They rape like there is no tomorrow. They say “watch how we will **** your wife”. Why. Sexual predators stalk streets
and alleyways with impunity. Deliberately spreading killer diseases. I am HIV, so I want to spread that HIV. My community is taking the law into their own hands killing the rapists among them. There is another one lying just across here. In many areas the cops are losing control. Please don’t fight us. We are not fighting with you. Children are growing up in a world
where rape and mob justice is seen as normal. They become desensitized. For them it’s become just normal. Diepsloot, Johannesburg. My township has some of the highest
levels of rape in South Africa. My name is Golden Mtika. I’m a freelance journalist. I’ve covered crime stories here in Diepsloot
for the last thirteen years. This is one of the most dangerous
places in Johannesburg. If you are found to be walking at night, you risk your life 100%. And rape is something which is very common. And it can often end in murder too. I’ve had a tip off. The body of yet another dead
woman has been discovered. Dumped here on the banks of a Diepsloot river. Someone would kill after rape just
because they want to hide their identity. We may never know whether this poor
soul was raped before being killed. But everything I know about Diepsloot tells me she was. People get killed here almost like every week. Every week. Every week, some of the people just get disappeared without knowing where they end up to. People kill them and thrown them in the stream river. She has left the children behind. They are crying, they don’t know where their mother is. In this stinking water, all the sewage
that comes from Diepsloot. So bad. So sad indeed. Almost a third of men in this township admit to having used force or threats to obtain sex. I want to know why Diepsloot has
become so dangerous for women and not just because of my job. I live here with my wife and kids. Years on the Diepsloot crime beat gives me
access to some very dangerous men. Men who have no fear of the law and will talk
freely and on camera about raping women. Can you explain how you would target a person? Our targets are like people who
stay alone in most places like ladies who stay alone. Have you ever tried to get into someone’s
shack and rape a woman in there? Yeah we’ve done it. We’ve done it a couple of times. What do you use to break in? We have every tool. We have this thing, a crowbar. Yeah we use that to open doors mostly. As soon as the door is open, she’s
going to scream obviously. As we walk in, we tell her to shut up. We pull out our knives and then we
are going to start with her, put her in her own bed and rape her. I cannot begin to imagine the terror of their victims. What would a woman say to you
when you are about to rape her? You answer this one. I’ve come across women who mostly offer
cash, like “I’ll give you cash to stop”. So she would be offering you money
and then what happens? We’ll do that and take the cash as well. You take the money and still rape her? We still rape her. Sometimes we’d actually rape your
girlfriend with you watching us. If he doesn’t cooperate, we are going
to have no choice but to stab him. Terminate him. What is the most number of people that
you have been involved in a gang rape? It was four. I think it was four. It was the four of us. You just took turns on that person? Yeah, we just took turns. One after the other. We made her run naked, you know, things like that. Crazy things, actually. Tossing bricks and things at
her while she is running. Things like that. Sometimes making fun of the fact that
she’s actually scared and terrified. Have you ever thought how bad it is for the person that you have raped? No actually it never comes to mind. Mostly, it never comes to mind. I can’t understand where is your conscience then? No conscience at all. No conscience. I cannot believe these men are not in jail. That they are allowed to roam
freely around my community. Those people are heartless evil human beings. And such types of people, they’re not
needed to live amongst us. They don’t deserve to be with the
residents of this community. Diepsloot’s notorious Extension One is the township’s most dangerous area. It’s also where most rapes occur. There is no electricity here and when night falls, the area’s lack of lighting provides the perfect cover for rapists. Imagine you walk a distance from where you live trying to find a toilet in the midnight,
in the darkness. How dangerous is it at night to leave your shack? It’s dangerous. The criminal, they attack me, like rape me, or they kill me. What time of the night do you have to lock yourself in your home? Seven o’clock. Seven o’clock? Yes. You are already inside? Yes. Good bye. Be safe. God bless you. There’s nothing that these people can do living here in this darkness. It’s not only women who are at risk in Extension One. I do feel nervous in this time of the night. There are a lot of guys who stay there. They are not good guys especially at night so let’s go. Diepsloot feels like a different place by day. But an air of menace hangs over my township. It doesn’t take me long to find a victim of rape. Just down the road from my home, this woman
was recently subjected to a horrific night time attack. My boyfriend had gone to Durban. My friends came to visit me. They came in about 7pm. We cooked, we ate and slept. The rapist smashed his way into her corrugated shack. My friend tried to scream and he said he
would shoot us and we think he had a gun. He said: “My sister, please just take off
your clothes I just want to sleep with you.” I said: “My brother I have a small child. Are you not ashamed of what you are doing?” And then he came to my bed, the small
one and pulled the blanket off me. I tried to scream and he said: “My sister
please shut up because I’m going to kill you”. I left my baby on the bed. And then from there, I took off my clothes
and he made me hold on to the bed and then he started raping me. Her ordeal lasted an hour and a half. When he was done he left. He said we mustn’t dare leave the house. I started to cry. There was nothing I could do but cry. Since that guy raped me I no
longer feel free in my shack. Sometimes I walk down the street and
just start crying when I see a man. Sometimes I don’t even know why I was crying. In Diepsloot many women cry about
rape but nothing is being done. Even if you go to the police station they will just open a case. But when you get there, who will
you say was the intruder? It ends there, the case is not investigated. Between 2013 and 2016, 500 rapes
were reported in Diepsloot. Only one led to a conviction. If I had the guts to take the law into my own hands, if he were to come back again I
would do everything in my power to do what anybody would, and kill him. The community here regularly takes the law into their own hands and kills suspected sexual predators. I’ve been told that vigilantes have just attacked a gang of four alleged rapists. The air is filled with the pungent smell of burning flesh. The crowd is angry and the mood is ugly. What is the problem here in Diepsloot? Why? The one laying down here has
just been burnt by the residents. The other one is right down there at the stream river. They have also been burnt and there is another one
lying just across here and also he has been burnt. And we have another body that
is just down the street here. He also has been killed by
the residents. They stoned him and they broke his skull. The residents of Diepsloot, when
they’re angry this is what they do. They are fed up of crime and they say
they cannot be protected anymore. The cops manage to muster enough firepower to enter Extension One. Without their guns, they would be vulnerable. But they dare not take action. As their victims suffer, the crowd celebrates. As a fellow resident, I understand the rage they feel but burning somebody to death is horrific. It makes me wonder, what kind of hell
we are living in, here in Diepsloot? By now, there’s a large police presence. But they seem wary of treating the
suspects, in case they trigger a riot. And that suits the mob just fine. When they see him breathing like that it doesn’t make them feel happy. In fact, they think of finishing him off. If these people are to be dead it’s fine. They break into our homes. They raped us in front our husbands. They say, “watch how we will **** your wife”. It’s time for the cops to try and
move the suspects to safety. We’re going to do our jobs. We’re going to take those who are alive. No! Listen. There’s no way I can leave
these people here. Please don’t fight us. As the cops negotiate with the crowd, the suspects fight for their lives. It is difficult watching a fellow human being suffering right in front of you. I want to try to help him but I’m scared. If I were to intervene, the mob could turn on me. It could cost me my life. God help Diepsloot. The suspects are carried through the mob, escorted by armed cops. All three would later die. These barbaric mob justice killings are happening here on a regular basis. What I’ve seen today has really shaken me but children have witnessed it all as well. They have probably seen it from
the beginning to the end. And that you know is killing our kids because
scenes like this, they make kids think that it is normal to kill a person. They become desensitised. Even If they see a dead body on
the street, to them its normal. They can even play soccer around a dead body. It breaks my heart that children have to
witness such awful scenes. What hope is there for the future when such terrible
acts become a part of our every day life? What you see here the dancing they call it ‘after tears’. They’re busy celebrating that they
know the three suspects are dead, now at least they will be free in the society. They will be able to walk around freely. People feel abandoned in Diepsloot. But surely mob justice is not the answer? I went to meet some of those at the forefront of vigilante action who do not flinch
at burning rapists alive. They’re proud of it. Hello ladies. Hello. What happens when you come across someone who has raped in the area? We burn the people. Yes, we burn the people. The thing is we are trying to
show other people that rape. So that when you rape somebody, you’ll see what we did to that guy. Next time when you think of
raping, you’ll never do it. You know that the mob case
will kill you or burn you. When we burn a person, we start to hit first. So that a person can die hard. We start to hit before we put petrol on most of the time. We use tyre and petrol. Then after we use the matches and go and
light the person who must get burned. And we make sure that person,
when he burns, don’t have to run. Some other times when you are busy
beating that guy, putting the petrol, the police come and shoot us with rubber bullets. And obviously, we won’t wait for a rubber
bullets, we run. We run for our lives. And how many mob justices
have you ever participated in? Many, many, because I try to help the community. I have kids. I feel the pain. One day it will be my daughter out there. One day it will be somebody that I care about out there. If I do not help, who will help me? But when the mob plays judge and jury, mistakes are inevitable. And the consequences are horrific. Have you had a suspect who is
innocent and has been killed? Sometimes we catch the wrong person. If we get the wrong person, it’s probably we didn’t do research or investigate properly. But if we find a wrong person, the community must make donations
to arrange the funeral to arrange each and everything
because it’s our fault for the family to have lost the person. People are fed up of crime and that pushes them to the edge. But taking the law into their own
hands is something wrong. Even the threat of being burnt alive seems to have done nothing to stop rapes in Diepsloot. And with so many attacks, most residents
either know a victim or a rapist. I’m no different. I know someone who has raped before. His name is David. I first heard about David being
involved in these crimes of rape about seven years ago. His father and me – we used to be very close. When David’s father died, I felt
I had to look out for his son. I even saved David from vigilantes
after he raped somebody. I’ve been trying to track David down. Talking to him might really help me
get inside the mind of a rapist. To understand why on earth a man can rape a woman. His ex-girlfriend might be able to help but she’s just dropped a bombshell. After walking her home one night, David attacked her. I opened my door and then I said bye-bye, thank you for you taking me home. And then he said no, let me get inside. I said to him no. It’s over between me and you. And then, he starts to push me, pushing, pushing me… trying to force me. I said no I don’t want. I tried to close my
door and then he take me… he picked me up and threw me
to the bed inside my shelter. He forced me. After that, he – he just… Just take a breath. Just take
a breath, I understand. I’m very affected. Bad. I find that I am HIV. I feel so bad. And the crying. I get this HIV, AIDS after this happened. I am very sorry about that. He will get his punishment from God. God will punish him? Yeah God will punish him. But I am still alive. God will help me. I can’t believe that David has raped again even after I saved him from mob justice. I thought perhaps through that, he might have learnt a very, very hard lesson. If it would happen now they say there he is they’ve caught
him again, they’re busy with him, I don’t think I would waste my time, take my
phone and spend my airtime on trying to call the relevant authorities. And I hope he’s not continuing
doing this rape thing because he’ll be infecting a lot of people with the disease. I need to speak to David urgently. The next day I receive a call from David. He’s heard that I was looking for
him and he’s agreed to meet me. I met a young woman who told me that she is your former girlfriend and that you raped her. She told me that you threatened her with a knife. Yeah, I raped her. What was going on in your mind at
the time when you were doing this? Give me the sex then I will be satisfied even you don’t, I will make
a plan to kill you. Do you realise that that woman
she is now HIV positive? Yes. How do you feel that you gave her HIV? I feel ok. How many women have you taken
them by force and sleep with them? Maybe twenty-one, twenty-four. Twenty-one, twenty-four? Yes. After all these, twenty four of them that
you have mentioned, that you raped them, did you use protection? No. I didn’t use protections. Do you think you have infected them with HIV? I know I am HIV, so I want to spread that HIV. Do you feel good within yourself that you
are spreading it to other people? I feel good because I can’t die alone. That’s why you’re spreading it – it makes you feel good? Yes, yes. Scary man. You make me very scared. I can’t stay three days without sex. Why not? I’m powerful. You’re powerful? Yeah, powerful. Powerful guy. Even like now, when you talk like it, we are
talking like now I feel a woman right now. Can’t you control your feelings? When I feel you have curves, you are nice
you are like the way I want, I will make a plan to get you. That’s horrible man, that’s very horrible. That’s very horrible. Do you agree with me if I say you’re
a dangerous man in our society? They’re scared of me. They know I can take action at any time. What would my old friend, David’s father, think of what his son has become? I used to know your father very well. So when I thought of you that you
were being attacked by mob justice I went all out to make sure
that at least I save your life, and I did it out of love. I thought that perhaps by saving you it was going to be a lesson. You’re not afraid of mob justice. No, no. You don’t care about that. People burning you, putting petrol on you? You don’t care about that kind of punishment? I pray to my god, that’s why I survive. You pray to god and then tomorrow
you wake up and rape a woman. And god saves you from your wrongdoing. Yeah but god loves everyone. As long as you pray for God then
God will save you always. I could never, ever have foreseen this man I knew as a child becoming a serial rapist, who spreads deadly disease. I never want to see David again but before I go, I want to ask one last question. In your lifetime as you were growing up, have
you been sexually abused as a young boy? Did someone else abuse you sexually? Yes Mr Golden. That time I was arrested was ninety something, ’93, ’94. So you were sexually abused? Yeah. In the police custody? Yes in the cell. You were sodomised? I was around of fourteen to fifteen
years at that time. The police they starting to treat me like
a wife then they had sex with me. So you learnt it from there,
then you took it with you? Yes. And started doing it outside? Yes. When you were sexually abused, how did you feel? I was feeling bad always, why did
those people do this thing to me? Do you think it does make sexual victims
feel the same when you rape them? Do you think they feel the same like you? They feel bad but in my heart, I don’t think about it. This was very shocking and at
the same time heartbreaking. I think David should have been in prison for all those crimes he had committed
– twenty four women in number. There is an abnormally high rate of
rape taking place in Diepsloot. When they rape, they rape
like there is no tomorrow. Nono Maseko is the only professional counsellor in Diepsloot dealing with the trauma
of thousands of female rape victims. When a person is raped they
lose their self in the rape. The struggle to think properly, they struggle
to sleep, they struggle to eat, and some will bath minute after minute thinking
that they are dirty. It isn’t just women she deals with. There’s men and boys too. Some guys get raped also or get
molested at an early age. And Nono is all too aware where male rape can lead. So when you grow up, you grow up with that anger, that I was – I was a woman for a certain
period of time so why can’t I also hurt women. By raping and raping and raping that person
is trying to shut down the pain that he is feeling, you know. And by doing that he is not helping
himself because by raping yes you might get a satisfaction for that day but
raping twenty it means you are not being able to shut your own pain, so that
person also needs help. Where will that help come from in Diepsloot? Who could help a rapist like David? Who would want to help? My township is sick and it feels terminal. I have seen and heard things
during the making of this film that even I, a crime reporter, who has lived
half his life in Diepsloot cannot believe. But it gets worse. There are people amongst us
who are raping young children. This sister’s daughter suffered a horrific attack. A shopkeeper, she wants to remain
anonymous to protect her identity. My husband was selling to some customers. I was asleep in my shack at that time. We just heard the child screaming. When the child screamed, the customers
ran out to see what was going on. Only to find that the child is screaming from the toilet. They tried to force it open but
it would not open. They kept trying to force the toilet
door open until it did. There was a young man inside raping my daughter. How old was the child at this time? She was 10 years old. Did you manage to get the child
checked up at hospital for HIV? We went to Hillbrow clinic. They tested her for HIV and she took a pregnancy test. She was then given a rape-related
medication to clean her out. My sister, please explain how this has affected
your child since it happened? When I look at her now, her life is not normal. Before the rape, she was a bright young girl. Right now, she’s struggling and not doing so well. She went for counselling but I don’t think it helped her. I’m very sorry. I can’t just get to understand why people rape such small kids who are very innocent. I can’t even begin to imagine the kind of pain that sister must be feeling right now. The thought of somebody hurting my children it’s just unthinkable. I’m starting to realise as I dig further that my own children are in serious danger. Right now, I’ve managed to get a man who
lives in this community of Diepsloot, who does these things. He has agreed to talk to me. He must remain anonymous to
protect the identity of the victim. I feel like I’m getting pulled deeper
and deeper in to this dark world. So you are saying you raped a girl? It was a family member of mine. How old was the child when this happened? 5 years. She was five years? The child had been left under my care in the house. When they had left us both alone, I decided to rape her. Then the neighbours heard us. Then the neighbours came into the house. They were angry and wanted to beat me. My aunt came and asked them not to beat me. How on earth could a man rape a five-year-old girl? I’m about to find out his reason. Why exactly did you do that? A Sangoma told me when I do it, I will be
better. A Sangoma is a Zulu term for a traditional healer. He told you when you do it you will be better? Yeah. What problem do you have? HIV. Oh, you’re HIV positive? Yeah. So the Sangoma told you that if you rape
a small child you will get healed. Yeah. From HIV? Yeah. Since you are HIV positive, what do you
think about the child that you have raped? I don’t know if she is OK or if she has HIV. If you had a young child, a girl, a daughter of
your own, would you have raped her or not? I would have raped my own child. The Sangoma makes it clear that you have
to rape a child from within the family. Are you healed right now? I’m not healed. Do you feel guilty – are you
remorseful about the rape? I feel remorseful, yes. If it happens that you’re not cured of HIV,
would you rape a small child again? No I would not. Because the Sangomas are misleading people. These Sangoma have been deceiving so many
people with this lie. They tell people to rape a child to be cured of HIV. But no one can be cured
of HIV by raping a child. How did the child’s mother react? Well the matter was discussed
by the elders of our family. They said, we cannot lay charges against each
other as a family that would lead to an arrest. I had made a mistake. They told me that what the Sangoma
had said was misleading, you see. HIV will not be cured by the Sangoma. I stopped going to the Sangoma and went for treatment. He’s not human enough. Perhaps he was meant to be something else not a living human being maybe
an animal staying in the zoo. It would have been better for him
to live there with other animals. He did a very wrong thing. He has ruined the life of that small girl. Those Samongas in this community
of Diepsloot; there’s a lot. They come from different countries in Africa. They’re here in Diepsloot to make money. It’s very shocking to hear that we have such
people in our community, who still advise other people that you know, go and rape to get well. The Sangoma who advised this young man to rape a young child has disappeared. However, it’s easy to find flyers advertising
the services of other Sangomas in Diepsloot. Many people here still believe in
the powers of traditional healers. Bringing back lost lover, stop smoking and drinking, and the last one, the HIV/AIDS people can be helped. I’ve heard about it before, but as a rumour. I never took it very seriously. I’ve discovered another Sangoma in Extension One who’s offering HIV miracle cures for cash. Does he advise raping young children? If so, will he talk on camera? People come to me for help. This thing of sleeping with
a young child, does it help? It helps because this person is still
young, they have no feelings. The blood is not supported. How many times do you have to have
sex with a young virgin to get cured? Well maybe, I would say six or seven times. So, what’s the right age? It has to be 12, 13 or 14. That’s the right age when the virgin is
about is about to become a woman That’s the preferable one because they
are about to start mensturating . A family member. Not just any blood. So a family member. Yeah. Like your cousins. The cousins within the family, those are the
people when you are HIV positive you can target? Yeah. The Sangoma is adamant having
sex with a child cures HIV. But I think he’s starting to realise
he might be incriminating himself. Do you advise them to go and
have sex with a young virgin? No, I don’t tell them to do so because I
know it’s illegal, they’ll get arrested. You follow. The law does not permit it. Once it’s done, it’s done. There is nothing you can do. For me, he showed he was afraid of the law. That’s why he was contradicting himself. Not far away from my house, there is a man who tells people in Diepsloot that they
must go and rape a small to child. This is the way that he helps
people that are HIV positive. He tells them to go and rape small kids. Totally wrong. This utter nonsense. There’s no truth to it. He just wants to enrich himself. I’ve got to warn my community about the threat
their children are facing from some Sangomas. I’m going straight to my church. Raising my kids here, it worries me a lot because I’m always of the opinion that if they rape my neighbour’s kid, what about me? It might as well happen to me someone raping my child. We’ve got people who are misleading this community. There are Sangomas, which are outside there who are busy telling people who are HIV positive that if you sleep with a girl aged
thirteen years, you’ll get healed. Let’s pray and ask God that he can give us
wisdom and give us the power that the evil spirit that does exist in our community can
go away, so that we can live in peace. Hallelujah. There is no law or justice in Diepsloot. And no sign of it ever arriving. Women and children are being raped and will continue to be raped. People are being burnt to death on
our streets and mob justice rules. A new generation of kids are growing up traumatised. The vicious cycle of violence and
rape seems to have no end. All the residents of this township have left is their faith. All we can do is offer up prayers
to heaven to deal with this hell. Making this film has totally changed
my opinion of living in Diepsloot. I feel like I’m not safe here living with my kids. I first came to Diepsloot more than 17 years ago. I married my wife here. My children grew up here. As much as I love this place and its people, my family cannot stay here. I’ll say it again. God help Diepsloot.


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