A woman in South Africa who killed one of three men who allegedly raped her daughter is now out on bail.
The 55-year-old mother’s bail had been set at R500 after her arrest. After being alerted by her daughter’s friend, she apparently found the men with her 27-year-old daughter and stabbed all three men.
One of the alleged rapists died, while the other two were treated at a hospital for the injuries they sustained.
Government officials later visited the village to calm the affected families.
“When I arrived I asked them (the men) what they were doing because they were all naked, with one of them busy raping my daughter,” the mother said in a phone interview with Independent Media.
“I was armed with a knife to protect myself,” she added. “I stabbed the first one, stabbed the second one and also stabbed the third while he was trying to run away.
Many have hailed the woman, who is from a village near Queenstown in the Eastern Cape, as a hero. In a country where rape statistics are shockingly high, the woman’s actions are seen as fitting. Women in the country live in fear of rape and other acts of misogynistic violence, and almost daily there are reports of women and girls missing, raped and/or murdered.
Crowdfunding for her legal defense and counselling was started by feminist and concerned citizen Natalie Kendrick. The fund has so far raised upwards of $9000.
State resources are apparently also being made available to the girl that alerted the mother to the alleged gang rape, after she reportedly tried to commit suicide. She was being victimized by her community for telling the mother about the rape, and has been under severe distress after being blamed for the death of one of the rapists.
The mother, dubbed #lionmama on Twitter, will appear in court again on October 8th. Attorney Buhle Tonisa and legal assistance company Law For All will provide her with legal counsel pro bono.