South Africa: Gang rape video goes viral


Women place white flowers outside parliament during a demonstration in Cape Town on the International Day for the Prevention of Violence against Women. South Africa has one of the highest rates of rape in the world.



JOHANNESBURG — A video said to show young men gang-raping a 17-year-old girl has gone viral in South Africa.

A tabloid newspaper alerted police after receiving a copy of the video from the concerned mother of a teenager in Soweto, the township southwest of Johannesburg.

"The mother of a teenage girl saw the horrifying pictures and confiscated her daughter's phone. A work colleague of the woman said they recognized some of the boys and advised her to take the video to Daily Sun," the newspaper reported.

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South Africa has one of the highest rates of rape in the world. A 2009 study found that one in four South African men had admitted to rape, and most cases are never prosecuted.

The 10-minute cell phone video reportedly shows a group of young men taking turns raping and filming the girl, who is said to be mentally disabled. 

The girl had been reported missing in Soweto by her mother three weeks ago, the South African Press Association reported. She has now been found and taken to hospital.

Police have arrested seven young men between the ages of 14 and 20 in connection with the girl's attack, SAPA said.

South Africans have expressed their anger and disgust about the incident on Twitter, where the hashtag #rapevideo has been a top trending topic in the country throughout the day.

South Africa's Film and Publication Board has warned that possessing or distributing the video is a criminal offense.

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