Woman who killed her daughter's rapist will not face murder charges, prosecutors say
A South African woman who stabbed a man to death and severely injured two others after allegedly catching them raping her daughter has been told she will not face murder charges, following a public outcry.
The woman, who has been dubbed “Lion Mama” by the South African media, told police she had stabbed the three men at an unoccupied house in the village of Qumbu in the Eastern Cape, after she found them attacking her daughter.
She said she had been told about the attack by the 18-year-old cousin of the man who died and had tried to call the local police but received no answer.
When she got there, she found the three men taking it in turns to rape her daughter and stabbed them all repeatedly until they collapsed, she said. The mother has not been named in order to protect the identity of her daughter.
The 56-year-old reportedly ran 3km with a kitchen knife after she was told her daughter was in danger during the incident on 2 September.
After attacking the alleged rapists she comforted her 27-year-old daughter until the police arrived but was arrested by police and charged with murder and two counts of attempted murder.
But on Sunday the National Prosecution Authority announced all charges were officially being dropped, according to local media reports.
Prosecutors gave no official explanation for why the charges had been dropped but spokesman Luxolo Tyali told South Africa's News 24 that they did not see a realistic chance of conviction.
The “Lion Mama” case prompted an outpouring of support on social media with people across the country rallying to help her.
A woman in Cape Town, Natalie Kendrick, set up a crowdfunding page which raised thousands of euro to help her with her legal fees, Times Live reported.
Addressing a huge crowd which had gathered outside the Lady Frere Magistrates Court for the hearing where the charges were formally dropped, the woman thanked her supporters.
She said: "I felt like an old baboon that has no friends, but today you showed me I have people and that I was not alone. Thank you.
"I am happy that the charges are withdrawn against me and I thought I was going to jail, but God was on my side."
Her lawyer, Buhle Tonise, said the money raised would now go towards trauma counselling for the woman and her daughter.
The two surviving men, Xolisa Siyeka and Mncedisi Vuba, are due to appear in court next week to face charges over the alleged rape. Zamile Siyeka was pronounced dead at the scene.
Independent News Service