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SAfrica: Rape, murder as couples attacked on a walk in park

November 9, 2015

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — An early evening stroll in a Johannesburg park turned into a nightmare for two couples in an attack that that was so horrific it shocked even crime-calloused South Africans.

A 24-year-old Zimbabwean suspected of being one of attackers appeared in court Monday, local media reported.

Two women were forced to watch as their partners were stripped, tied up with their own clothes and thrown into a lake, one survivor of last month’s attack recalled as authorities try to bring the assailants to justice.

The attack happened on a Saturday evening as the couples walked along a path near a lake. They were surrounded by a group of men, the survivor said in a video on the Times Live news site. They heard guns cock, then they were instructed to lie down on the grass. The attackers searched the couples for valuables and finding nothing, decided to throw the men in the water, tied up with their own clothes.

“They threw our men into the water and told them to swim to the other side,” she said, her head wrapped in a scarf, a symbol of mourning.

Both men drowned, their bodies retrieved by police divers hours later.

One of the victims was a 25-year-old teacher at a public school in Johannesburg. On the school’s Facebook page, students and colleagues wrote messages of sympathy for Kela.

In the suburb of Kensington, east of downtown Johannesburg, residents laid flowers at the crime scene.

Update hourly