Bella is 34 years old. Without her knowledge or consent, she became the victim of forced sterilisation at the age of 12 when her parents took her to hospital for what they told her was an operation to have her appendix removed. Nine years later, during a routine pelvic examination, Bella was told it was her uterus, not her appendix that had been removed.Thirteen years on from her discovery, Bella’s grief and anger are still raw.
It is a country that can seem inured to violence from sheer familiarity. But this was a crime so shocking that even South Africa has begun to search its soul.
A disabled 17-year-old girl, said to have the mental capacity of a five-year-old, was allegedly gang-raped by seven men and boys in an assault that came to light only when a mobile phone video of the brutal attack went viral online.