Assaulted, abused, robbed and forced to watch whilst his wife was rapped …couple reveal shocking details of their ordeal
It was just after 9pm last Wednesday evening when their lives changed forever.
53-year-old OneilweMoeti remembers the time because he was listening to the Radio Botswana news in the bedroom of his two-room shack in Francistown’s Somerset location.
Elsewhere people were eating, walking, opening and closing windows.
Outside his wife was relaxing, enjoying the cool of the darkness.
Three men approached the Moetihousehold. It was to be the start of a terrifying three-hour ordeal.
“It all happened so quickly I was half asleep and didn’t have time to react. My eyes were closed when they walked indragging my wife.
“All of them were armed with knives. After warning that we should not try to raise the alarm, the three tied our hands and legs before demanding money,” Oneilwesaid.
If it hadn’t been for the seriousness of their situation the couple might have treated the whole thing as a joke.
“Look at the conditions we live in,” he says, waving his arm towards the dilapidated building they call home. “Do we look like we have money?
“When I told them that I had no cash one of the men hit me in the face with a wooden vase that was on the table.
They told me that they knew I worked as a mechanic and would have money.”
Oneilwe managed to raise P500 from the cash they had saved for groceries, and gave it to the robbers in the hope that they would then leave them alone.
“One of them found my ATM card which was in my trouser pocket. They asked for my pin number so I deliberately gave them a wrong number.
I just wanted to buy time so that they would give up.
I desperately hoped thatsomeone might come to our rescue and justice would prevail.
But that was a terrible mistake,” Oneilwesaid shaking his head.
Two of the thugs went to check the money at the bank, leaving their friend on guard.
When they returned with the news that the card was rejected, the torture began.
He watched in anguish as burning plastic bags were dropped onto his body, blistering his skin his screams of pain muffled by the gag around his mouth.
And when he couldn’t take it any more hegave them the correct number.
The same two men left again for the ATM machine.
Then to his horror the one who remained told him that he was going to rape his wife.
“I thought it was just a sick joke but the evil man did exactly what he said, right on the same bed, just next to me, in front of my eyes.
“It was terrible. Throughout the nightmare I kept thinking that I was the one who was supposed to protect my wife, but I was helpless, unable to move, powerless. It was so humiliating.”
When the other men arrived with P300, all that was available from Oneilwe’s account, the man who had raped his wife suggested that they should kill the couple.
The matter was debated as casually as if the three were debating where to go for a drink, but in the end they decided just to leave.
Although he had never seen the men before he is convinced they were local, not Zimbabweans.
“They spared our lives, but truly speaking if I ever catch up with the guy who raped my wife I would rip him apart, limb by limb,” Oneilwe says, and by the look in his eye you know he means it.
Listening to his account his 50-year-old wife, who was too scared even to give her first name, rubs the tears from her eyes and talks about her own feelings.
“Our lives are shattered. It is not the material things that concern me even though they took our money, cell phones and even stole my wedding ring.
What sickens me is the cowardly, heartlessand violent abuse on our bodies.
The damage will remain long after the pain has gone.
“These thugs may not have killed us outright, but a part of me died that day.
The memory of being raped on our matrimonial bed whilst my husband was forced to watch will never leave me.”
Describing how the rapist started bragging to his friends about what he had done, even suggesting that he perform the act again for their entertainment, her voice trails off with the chilling words: “He didn’t even use a condom.”
Also convinced that the men were local, she went on to praise the police response after shemanaged to break loose and report the incident.
The next day she was seen by a doctor and referred for counselling.
Now the still shaken woman has the agonising wait to see if she is HIV positive.
Meanwhile Kutlwano Police Station Commander MotsholathebeMothibirevealed that hunt to track the culprits was on going and appealed to members of the public to come forward if they had any information that might help them in their enquiries.