Woman picking herbs attacked and raped in KZN canefield

Photo: RUSA

Woman picking herbs attacked and raped in KZN canefield

Reaction Unit SA said the 52-year-old woman picking herbs was attacked and raped by a knife-wielding man in a canefield in KZN.

Woman picking herbs attacked and raped in KZN canefield

Photo: RUSA

A 52-year-old woman who was picking herbs in Maidstone, KZN, was attacked and raped by a knife-wielding man on Saturday. 


According to Reaction Unit SA (RUSA) spokesperson Prem Balram, they received a call for assistance at approximately 11:07 from a general dealer on Gopalall Hurbans Road requesting assistance for the woman. 

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“On arrival, the woman informed Reaction Officers that she was accosted by an unknown male while picking herbs in a sugar plantation off Walter Reid Road. 

“The man produced a knife and asked her to proceed further in the canefield where he raped her twice. He then led her to the general dealer, where he asked her to wait outside and not to draw any attention to herself. She asked him for water which he agreed to provide,” Balram said.


The woman then took the chance and sought assistance at the general dealer. 

“The suspect did not return but left behind a bag containing a drill, clothing, and a Mobicel cellphone.” 

The only description the woman could provide of her attacker was that he was dressed in brown pants and a brown shirt.

Balram said reaction officers conducted an extensive search for a person matching that description; however, no arrests were made.


Your first instinct might be to wash or change your clothes. Instead, get to a safe place as soon as possible. This could be the nearest hospital, a police precinct or even a home of someone you trust.

  • Call the police immediately and go to your local police precinct to report the crime. Ask for a criminal investigation to begin.
  • Head to your local hospital for immediate medical care. There they will check for injury and prevent sexually transmitted infections and pregnancy.
  • You will be fully examined and samples will be taken. This includes nail clippings, genital and mouth swabs, and possibly undergarments.
  • It will be here where they will collect evidence. For the purposes of evidence collection, try to avoid showering, combing your hair, or changing your clothes before going to the hospital.
  • A rape kit is used with a serial number on it. The rape kit is provided by the police officer involved in the case. The serial number of the rape kit is linked to your case number.
  • The doctor is required to reseal all evidence as well as sealing the box. This is handed from police to doctor, and doctor to police to maintain the chain of evidence.
  • The box is then handed over to the police who will assist you in obtaining what is called a J88 form. This form is a legal document that the medical doctor who examined you should complete describing all injuries noted.
  • It is important now more than ever to have support, so tell someone you trust who can support and assist you. You can also visit the rape crisis program for crisis intervention or support groups. There are also a number of 24-hour hotlines that you can call at any time for assistance.
  • The common assault reporting follows a similar process.
  • Seek medical assistance immediately and do not change clothes, wash, or clean wounds. As with sexual assault, the doctor will make notes and diagrams of your injuries, also on a J88 form

South African Police Service

In a case of domestic violence or sexual assault, the South African Police Service will help you find medical attention, shelter and victim counselling.

The SAPS emergency number is 10111

People Opposed to Woman Abuse (Powa)

Powa provides counselling, over the phone and in person, and provide temporary shelter. They also provide legal help to women who have experienced violence.

Tel: 011 642 4345

E-mail: info@powa.co.za

Childline South Africa

Childline South Africa helps abused children and their families with a free counselling service. The non-profit organisation deals with physical and sexual abuse, substance abuse, behavioural problems and trafficking as well as gives legal advice.

Toll-free helpline: 0800 055 555

Child Welfare South Africa

Child Welfare South Africa focuses on child protection, child care and family development. You can also report neglect and child abuse.

Tel: 074 080 8315

Tears Foundation

TEARS Foundation provides access to crisis intervention, advocacy, counselling, and prevention education services for those impacted by domestic violence, sexual assault and child sexual abuse.

Free SMS helpline: *134*7355#

Tel: 010 590 5920