Woman raped in library organises protest to demand better security

About 50 pupils from various high schools protested outside Uitenhage Public Library

Sinazo Orlam and her mother, Senzi, lead a protest outside the Uitenhage Public Library on March 5 2020.
Image: Thamsanqa Mbovane

“I can’t let a child be raped like me in a public library,” says Sinazo Orlam.

Orlam, 21, a rape survivor, said she was raped in the toilet at the Uitenhage Public Library on August 14 2019.

“The man had followed me through the passage that is leading to the toilet … I didn’t suspect I would be raped, let alone at a public library in broad daylight,” said Orlam.

“I am worried about the children who also use the same toilets,” she said.

Orlam, who lives in Despatch, organised a protest on Thursday afternoon to raise awareness of the danger as many pupils use the library. She was joined by her mother, Senzi, and 50 pupils from various high schools, including Marymount, Strelitzia and Daniel Pienaar.

Orlam said, “Keeping quiet when something is eating you inside won’t help. I was promised by the library manager that they will install CCTV cameras and hire a security guard but that did not happen after the incident … My worry is the next victim … especially children.”

The protesters want libraries across Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality to get better security.

Nelson Mandela Bay municipal spokesperson Mthubanzi Mniki did not respond to questions.




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