On Wednesday September 8, a woman took to social media to share her story in an anonymous post on Instagram. The nine page carousel post describes an evening at an illegal party in Woodstock, Cape Town, which took place despite COVID-19 government regulations.
The account appears to have been created for the sole purpose of sharing a rape incident which allegedly occurred on the night of Saturday 4 this month at a gathering which took place between the hours of 10pm and 4am.
The caption of the post by @speakingourforall located the club in Woodstock.
Since being created yesterday, the page has gained major attention, racking up over 500 followers, 11,775 likes, and 476 comments (and counting).
This is what was said:
The post also features a lengthy caption.
“I will also not be told that this was somehow my fault. We have the right to freedom and to have fun no matter what time it is or where we are. I realise that going to this place is irresponsible in terms of [COVID] regulations and adherence to the laws surrounding curfew and crowds, but if this had happened at this club when there were no lockdown regulations prohibiting gatherings and movement beyond certain times, it would’ve been equally unacceptable and intolerable.
“Please, do not support this party, or this club or the events that they throw. I have good reason to believe that the space will remain a hotspot for this type of abuse, and it is possible that this guy will return to the club regularly to find new victims.
“There are events and spaces that are safe for both women and the queer community of this City. Find them, go to them and live your best life. But never alone, not even for [ten] minutes when going to the bathroom. For those of you that do go to illegal parties thrown after curfew hours, whether or not it’s this particular one, be aware that the illegality associated with these parties does impact your safety when you’re there.
“Illegal parties will not phone the police if anything no happens. Illegal parties will have ‘full hard drives’ so as to protect themselves. And illegal parties will attract a crowd that attend these events, premised on the rejection of laws, thinking that the nature of the party means they too can ignore the law.”
Meanwhile, the outcry has generated a bounty of supportive responses, including comments from organisations such as Women for Change South Africa.
- “We should all be told who was promoting this event too. They’re very aware of what they’re selling their audience into, and need to take their fair share of responsibility for this.”
- “It is not your fault for what happened to you and whether you went to an illegal or legal party – you shouldn’t have ever had to go through that. I am so so sorry that you went through this and justice WILL be served. Not maybe, it will be. Wishing you love and healing.”
- “Thank you for speaking up! You are incredible strong and you did absolutely NOTHING wrong. No one deserves this!!!”
On the opposite spectrum, others have lashed back. To these, the alleged victim posted an Instagram story saying:
“Yes, this is real. My rape kit and forensic examination is real. My case number is real. Being interrogated every minute for the last few days is real. My bruises are real. My brokenness is real. The STD test and preventative medication is real. The fact that this club has done nothing and still wants to throw these events is real.
“I won’t be invalidated by ignorant fools. I won’t be responding to any negative comments. I don’t need you to believe me. I need accountability and justice.”
The following Instagram stories have since been posted.
Gender based violence resources South Africa:
- Rape Crisis Cape Town Hotline: 021 447 9762
- South African GBV Hotline: 0800 428 428
- Tears Foundation: 010 590 5920 / www.tears.co.za / [email protected]
- Childline South Africa: 0800 055 555 / www.childline.org.za / [email protected]
- People Opposed to Woman Abuse: 011 642 4345 / www.powa.co.za / [email protected]
- Community Intervention Centre Helpline: 082 821 3447
- Free Legal Advice on WhatsApp (LawForAll): 063 603 3759
- Stop Domestic Violence Helpline (Lifeline): 0800 150 150
- Suicide Helpline: 0800 567 567
- SAPS: 10111
- National Counselling Line: 0861 322 322
- Legal Aid: 0800 110 110