Lady Zamar has pressed rape charges against ex-boyfriend and fellow musician Sjava, real name Jabulani Hadebe. This followed allegations by Zamar that Sjava had abused her physically and emotionally, writes Buchule Raba!usician
We cannot say there is a rape case against musician Sjava at this moment, well, he’s not been charged despite investigations (preliminary) are still ongoing. We’ve simply put up the process that usually takes place when a victim claims they’ve been raped.
Basically, it’s rape from the courts’ perspective. In South Africa currently, survivors of sexual assault and rape feel that criminal justice does not support them.
If one has been raped, well, they should report the matter to the nearest police station as soon as possible.
This article will look at what strong evidence does Lady Zamar needs in order to have a strong case against the perpetrator, which in this case is alleged to be Sjava.
According to Rape Crisis, if you have been raped or assaulted do not remove your clothes or wash. Go straight to the nearest police station and request medical attention. There will be physical evidence on your body and clothes that will link the rapist to the crime and it is important that this evidence is collected as soon as possible after the rape.
Physical or DNA evidence fades within 72 hours (three days) after the event so the sooner you have this evidence collected and submitted to the police the better.
If you know of a nearby hospital that is designated as a forensic unit for assessing rape cases you may go straight there, but it is important to note that not all hospitals or health facilities deal with rape cases.
Looking at Lady Zamar’s case and the time-frame around the reporting of the alleged rape incident – how is she going to secure Sjava’s (alleged rapist) physical evidence to make her case definite? Already her case failed this stage, well, if she didn’t go for medical examination after the incident.
Rape Crisis clearly states that in order to collect physical evidence such as the rapist’s saliva, blood, semen or hair you will need to have a forensic examination done within three days (or 72 hours) after the rape provided you have not washed this evidence away.
You will be examined by a clinical forensic practitioner, which means a nurse or doctor who has been specially trained to gather evidence of crimes and offer medical treatment. This is often the strongest evidence in a rape case so it is important you have a forensic examination. However, if more than three days have passed your case does still stand a chance of being heard so this should not stop you from reporting rape to the police.
Looking at the above, we cannot deduce that there might be a fact that Lady Zamar did go for medical examination after the incident – which in this is the case, she can simply obtain that medical report. Rape victims are not forced to report rape immediately, but they can go for a medical examination and use that report later when they feel ready to report the matter.
First contact witnesses:
The question we should all be asking is if Lady Zamar spoke with someone after the claimed rape took place? That person or persons become her first contact witnesses.
The first person you talk to after you have been raped and tell about the rape is called the first contact witness. It is important that you speak to someone you trust and that you have this person’s contact details as the police will want to talk to them. They may be required to appear in court and give evidence to support your story.
You will need to give the police a statement of what happened. From the point of view of the law the sooner you can do this the better as the criminal has less chance to escape and you may be able to remember more about the rape right after it happened. If you are not in a position to have a full statement taken, you can give a brief statement and the investigating officer will make an appointment with you for the following day or ideally within 36 hours.
From the point of view of the prosecutor and the law, the more evidence that is collected and the sooner it is gathered after the crime the stronger the case will be in court. Once you have gone through these steps you can take some time to recover and decide whether or not you want to lay a charge against the person who raped you. Even if you are not sure whether you wish to lay a charge, it is better to have the forensic examination done, so that the evidence is there should you decide to lay a charge at a later date.
Having strong evidence strengthens your case, and helps convict criminals, and to empower you as a survivor and as a witness in court.
Earlier this week, Sjava released a statement saying that he’s not been charged, but the matter is still under investigation.
NB: This article has all the background links to all articles related to this incident, including the first allegations that were made by Lady Zamar on social media.
My last point, there’s something called a BIG NO and a small no – a BIG NO is when your partner shouts angrily that they don’t want to engage sexually with you. A small no is when they are saying it in a friendly manner, they can be laughing. In a court of law, a NO means a NO whether it’s BIG or small.
UPDATE: The matter between the two musicians is not yet in court. We reported that the National Prosecuting Authority confirmed that SAPS was done with the investigation into the rape allegations.
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