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Raped by Marc Gbaffou, failed by South African police and the Justice system

14 May 2017 at 17:47hrs | Views
Marc Gbaffou is the Chairperson of the African Diaspora Forum (ADF), founded in 2008 in Johannesburg following an initial wave of xenophobic violence.
My name is Gugulethu Ncube, I am a Zimbabwean national residing in South Africa. I am a feminist and a human rights activist. I have been the deputy public relations officer of the African Diaspora Forum (ADF) until Mr Gbaffou expelled me from this NGO because I had spoken out that he had raped me. I started dating Marc Gbaffou, the chairperson of ADF early this year. We agreed not to engage in sex until his divorce is finalized. We have been going out and booking rooms but sleeping on separate 3/4 beds until the end of February when Mr Gbaffou raped me while I was drunk.

On this day the last thing I remember is that we were sitting in a room around the table drinking wine. The next thing I woke the following day, undressed next to Mr Gbaffou's undressed body on the same bed. I was wet between my legs with substance that looked like sperms. I confronted him and he admitted to having engaged in sex with me while I was drunk and unconscious. He apologized and promised that he will never do it again. I forgave him and we continued with our relationship. On the 4 of April 2017 we went out again to a hotel called Sunnyside park hotel in Parktown, Johannesburg. When we got there Mr Gbaffou told me that he had made a booking and wanted us to go and sit in a room so we could kiss. We proceeded to the room. He ordered a bottle of wine which he opened while I was in the bathroom. I got back from the bathroom and he gave me a glass of wine, little did I know that this was going to be my second rape ordeal.

The last time I was aware of my surroundings was just after drinking that glass of wine. I got up at midnight and Mr Gbaffou had raped me. I angrily confronted him and his excuse was "I am sorry, I can't control my feelings around you, after all you are my girlfriend". I told him that we had agreed not to have any sex but what he was now doing was taking advantage of me as he always has sex with me while I am drunk and more over he doesn't use any condoms. I got dressed and stormed out of the hotel. While standing at the parking lot I called 10111 who did not turn up. By this time Mr Gbaffou had followed me and was listening to me calling the police. It was now approximately 1am on the 5th of April 2017 and it was drizzling. Mr Gbaffou tried to call my brother who did not respond. He persuaded me to go back to the room with him and I refused, I agreed to sit in the car while waiting for the police. Mr Gbaffou was apologizing once again promising not to take advantage of me ever again.

When he realised that I was angry and eagerly waiting for the police he said to me "you can go ahead and wait for your police but I can assure you that you will be the one who will be embarrassed because I have a lot of friends within the police".  I told him that my trust is with the courts and he said "go ahead, let's see if your case will get anywhere". We sat in the car from that time until 5:30am, Mr Gbaffou then drove with me to his place, he parked outside his flat and left. When I tried to open the car I discovered that he had locked and I could not open the car door. Mr Gbaffou came back after 2 hours, he threatened me that I will be an embarrassment in the community as no one will believe me if I speak out that he had sexually assaulted me. At the same time he was saying he is sorry.

I was hurt by his actions, scared that he is highly connected in South Africa and I will really be a laughing matter. I didn't know what to do as our society teaches us not to get raped rather than not to rape.

Mr Gbaffou told me that I must not speak out because if I did he would embarrass me. He also instructed me not to change the way I react to him as he could make my life miserable. On the 7th of April Mr Gbaffou called me and said he was coming to pick me up and we were going out. He also said that he will pass by the police station so that I write an affidavit that he has never raped me and I am his girlfriend and we always engage in sex. I did not respond to that as I was afraid that he could harm me more. When he picked me up he proceeded to the same hotel, Sunnyside park hotel where he had already booked a room. He ordered a wine and instructed me to go with him to the room and that I must not cause a scene. I went to the room with him. In the room he poured me a glass of wine and after taking it I passed out as I can not remember anything that followed after that. I only woke up in the following morning on the 8th of April 2017 and he had raped me again. He instructed me to get dressed and drop to drop me at my apartment. When he just left, I got inside my car and decided to go and tell my ordeal to the police.

At the police station I was attended by one constable Mokoti who told me that I did not have a case against Mr Marc Gbaffou as I have been dating him and can not say he raped me. I insisted on having him open the case and after threatening him that I was going to escalate my complaint he opened the case for me and we drove to the clinic for forensic evidence.

On the 11th of April 2017 I approached the Hillbrow station commander, Mr Mahasha who them called Mokoti to his office via a phone. To my surprise Mokoti walked in walking with Mr Marc Gbaffou. The station commander asked Mokoti as to why he had not arrested the suspect even after I had pointed him out to him and Mokoti said "I am sorry sir, I acted under an instruction from kennel Simelani and General Ndaba who said I must not arrest the suspect but rather obtain a statement from him and let him go". The station commander then told Mokoti to arrest Mr Gbaffou. When we got out of the office of the station commander, the station commander called Mr Gbaffou to his office saying he want to talk to him before Mokoti arrest him. They stayed in the office for close to ten minutes. I left the police station when they just came out of the office and Mokoti went with Mr Gbaffou, I am not sure whether Mr Gbaffou was arrested or not as I left immediately.

The following day I went to the Johannesburg magistrates court to find out if the matter was on the roll. Mokoti walked in in the afternoon and went to the prosecutor's office. He came out and told me that my case has been struck off the roll because I did not have evidence that Mr Marc Gbaffou had raped me.

I am disappointed by the manner the police have handled my case. I am further disappointed with the prosecutor's decision as I am not aware what evidence lacked in my case that have been in other rape cases that we hear of on the news. I wish that the could only have specialized prosecutor's to handle sexual offences. I am also not sure if these are the connections that Marc Gbaffou had been talking about that are now at work.

I did not consent to any sex with Marc Gbaffou. I have since applied to Director of National Prosecution P. for private prosecution as I feel that the state is supporting Marc Gbaffou by dragging its feet to prosecute Mr Gbaffou. I feel even hurt thinking that there are a lot of women out there who probably have been Mr Gbaffou's victims but fear speaking out due to victimisation. I am also disturbed by the attitude displayed by the ADF executive who have condoned Mr Gbaffou's behavior by refusing to act. I am further disturbed by the fact that Mr Gbaffou is using the organisation funds to fight me in this rape case and the executive supports this conduct.

Sincerely yours,

Gugulethu Ncube

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Source - Gugulethu Ncube
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