Models gang raped by miners as police say one victim lucky to be raped once

A group of models have been horrifically gang raped by a gang of illegal miners as police faced backlash for saying one victim was "lucky" to only be raped once.

The women were attacked in South Africa, with the country being rocked by the horrifying crime which saw a total of 126 arrests of miners hiding out in underground tunnels.

Police Minister Bheki Cele sparked fury after he said that one victim was "lucky" to only be raped once during the brutal assault on the group of eight women.

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He made the controversial comments about a 19-year-old victim, while two sisters aged 19 and 21 have given statements on the chilling encounter.

Police are currently looking for the men responsible for 32 rapes on eight girls and armed robbery, with two victims of the assault giving a statement on the vile encounter.

The 19-year-old, using the name Nomboniso, said she and her sister had been paid just £15 to feature in a music video, when miners nearby were attracted to the noises and began opening fire.

She added that the men ordered everyone to lie down and began a search.

Nomboniso said: "They began touching our private parts and one forced me into a car and that was when the first man raped me. I started bleeding as a second man came.

"He saw the blood but raped me anyway and I asked him to tell the others not to rape me and had to lie and say I had just lost my baby as they picked us off one by one."

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While the sex attacks were happening other gang members robbed the crew and the girls who had not yet been raped of jewellery, phones, cameras, handbags and their cash.

The value of the armed robbery has been estimated at £75,000.

Nomboniso's 21-year-old sister also gave an account, saying: "The two men started raping me. They had guns and threatened to kill me if I didn’t do as they said. I started bleeding and that helped me.

"It was a very traumatic experience which lasted about four hours for all the girls and one of the ladies was raped in front of us."

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A total of 126 miners have been arrested, with a South African Police Service source saying that an "example will have to be made due to the national outrage".

The force added: "The punishment should act as a deterrent to stop others crossing our borders."

Those who have been arrested are understood to be undergoing DNA testing to link them to the sickening rapes.

The perpetrators are believed to be zama zamas, a group of illegal migrants from neighbouring countries to South Africa who reopen closed mines in a bid to find gold.

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