Action Society made sure that an interpreter was finally available for Lily* (45) after a gang rape last year in December.
“It is clear that this case has shaken the deaf community of Bonteheuwel. A large group arrived at the Bishop Lavis court to support the victim,” says the organization in a statement.
They waved placards with slogans such as “Deaf Have Rights Too”, “Don’t Scrap Deaf Cases”, “Don’t Mock Deaf and Sign Language” and many more.
“I’m angry, yes! These men took advantage of her because she is deaf, just like me,” said one of the supporters through a sign language interpreter. “They think we are easy targets and that we have no rights, but they will soon see how wrong they are.”
Lily’s nightmarish experience deeply affected her and her family. The family has been waiting for a sign language interpreter since the case first occurred. With a sign language interpreter in court, Lily will finally be able to give her version of the events to the court.
Action Society has been supporting Lily and her family since August and finally made a breakthrough to obtain a sign language interpreter, as the Department of Justice promised an interpreter would be available at her next appearance.
The four accused will appear in court again on September 11. Three have so far been released on bail. The fourth is still in police custody.
The case will be transferred from there to the Parow Regional Court where the accused must appear on 12 October.
“Her only fear is that these guys will get away with this and that no one will believe her when she can finally tell her story,” says family spokesperson Antonette Meyer. “It was a great frustration for us to come to court again and again and then there is no interpreter.”