A few weeks ago, a Zimbabwean young woman, author and activist Gugulethu Ncube who based in South Africa contacted me narrating her harrowing rape ordeal in the hands of her then boyfriend Marc Gbaffou. Gugulethu Ncube says she was raped by Marc Gbaffou who is originally from Ivory Coast and is the chairperson of African Diaspora Forum (ADF) in South Africa. Gugulethu was the deputy public relations officer of the ADF and she says that she has since been dismissed from her job by Mr Gbaffou since she reported the rape to the police.
Gugulethu started dating Marc in December 2016. At the time Marc was a married man going through a divorce, so Gugulethu being a woman of integrity she was not happy to engage in sex with a married man. Marc agreed not to have sex with Gugulethu until his divorce was finalized.
However according to Gugulethu, Marc could not honor this agreement, and he allegedly raped her on three different occasions between February and April 2017. On each occasion, Gugulethu says Marc spiked her alcoholic drinks and raped her whilst she had passed out. The first time in February, Gugulethu woke up in a hotel room naked next to Marc with semen between her legs, Gugu says Marc apologized and she forgave him.
However, despite the forgiveness and apology, Gugulethu says Marc went on to spike her alcoholic drinks again and allegedly raped her on two different occasions in April 2017 at the same hotel. All rapes happened when Gugulethu was unconscious.
Gugulethu reported the rapes to the police, to which she alleges that Marc told her he would make her life ‘very difficult’ as he is a man of power and influence and well connected to the police. Marc has never been charged or arrested whilst Gugu has been arrested a few times since she reported the rape.
She has also suffered a lot of abuse and injustices in the hands of the South African police which includes degrading treatment like assault and being forced to dress in the presence of male police officers, who at that time were with her abuser Marc.
Gugulethu is the daughter of Professor Welshman Ncube, a Zimbabwean politician, lawyer, and businessman. He is the 3rd President of the MDC, a practicing lawyer in the firm Mathonsi Ncube Law Chambers where he is the senior partner at their Bulawayo offices and runs a number of business ventures including a farm in the Midlands Province.
Gugulethu, however, grew up not knowing Welshman Ncube as her biological father and was only reconciled to him when she was a teenager.
Gugulethu says her father has strongly advised her not to go public with her rape ordeal, as it would put his reputation and name into disrepute. Mr Welshamn Ncube has strongly advised his daughter to consider the ‘implications’ her actions would have on him and his son, Gugulethu’s brother Wesley Bongani Ncube who is married to Gugulethu Zuma, the daughter of South African President Jacob Zuma. Mr Welshman Ncube has also allegedly told Gugulethu that the only rape which was unavoidable was the first one. He told his daughter that the second and third rape could have been totally avoided had Gugulethu taken responsibility and not gone back to Marc.
Gugulethu’s brother Wesley Bongani Ncube has also advised her not to deal with her rape ordeal publicly. Gugulethu and Wesley Bongani Ncube has since cut communication.
As Gugulethu has felt let down and failed by the South African justice system, she has started publicly campaigning for justice. She attended one meeting where Marc was due to give a speech and bravely protested agaisnt him by herself, which led to her arrest.
Upon reading the events in the news, Professor Welshman Ncube was not happy and asked Gugulethu why she had made a ‘fool’ of herself.
Gugulethu alleges that since she did not take her father’s advice on how to handle the case, Professor Welshman Ncube has since disowned her.
On top of being allegedly disowned by her own father, Gugulethu has faced a lot of backlash and abuse from the Zimbabwean online community since she went public with her rape ordeal.
Most of the Zimbabweans blames Gugulethu for being raped 3 times, with the majority saying that she brought all the rapes upon herself and that her ‘story doesn’t add up’. She has been accused of dating a married man so the rape in her case was ‘justified’ as she ‘deserved it’. Some accuse her of lying that she was raped. She has also been accused of lying that she is the biological daughter of Welshman Ncube.
Last week Zimbabwean journalist Simba Chikanza accused Gugulethu of ‘discrepancies’ in her ‘claim that Welshman Ncube was her father’.
Gugulethu alleges that Simba Chikanza from Zimeye called her and recorded the phone call without her consent and later on aired the phone conversation without her knowledge and approval.
Gugulethu lost her mother to a gruesome murder when she was only 4 years old. At that time she was being raised by her mother and her husband, who thought he was her biological father. Somehow it was brought to his knowledge that he was not Gugulethu’s biological father. He then murdered Gugulethu’s mother and killed himself after.
Simba Chikanza from ZimEye went on to title the phone recording with Gugulethu ‘My Mother had sex with Welshman Ncube and my Dad killed her’.
Gugulethu was deeply distressed and traumatized by the actions of Simba Chikanza and she is now preparing to file a legal lawsuit against the Zimbabwean journalist.
Simba Chikanza hit back at Gugulethu, saying she had given consent that the phone conversation should be recorded and aired.
Simba went on to write on the Facebook of a Zimbabwean Socialite Mike Tashaya that Gugu is simply a ‘rape complainant’ not a ‘rape victim’. Simba wrote to Mike Tashaya that the only evidence Gugulethu had was ‘ semen between her legs’, in which the socialite replied that Gugulethu was only claiming that she was raped so she could generate sells from her book. Simba went on to write that people normally write books to ‘hide lies’.
This is the extent of the backlash Gugulethu Ncube has received from the Zimbabwean community. However, Gugulethu remains resilient against the harsh tide against her and vows to continue fighting her case until justice is served.
As a woman rights activist, I Jean Gasho stand firmly with Gugulethu Ncube. I will not join the masses in attacking her, calling her names, accusing her of lying or silencing her.
I believe her and support her campaign for justice.
I leave my readers with this, Gugulethu is in Africa, where women and girls who report rape are normally further abused, disgraced and face more humiliation from the justice system. She is in Africa, where injustice and corruption reigns. A continent where abusers have more rights than the victims.
The backlash that Gugulethu is facing is proof of how women are treated in Africa, should they dare report that they were raped or sexually assaulted by a prominent man.
Gugulethu body was violated. She felt violated. No means no. No woman deserves to have her dignity taken away from her through rape.
I pray that Gugulethu remains the strong resilient woman that she is. I believe justice always prevails, one way or the other, sometimes not through the justice system, but in humanity. I believe there is justice somehow, somewhere waiting for this beautiful young woman called Gugu.