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Donna and Will

In the Garden

by Marli Meyer, illustration by Alastair Laird / 25.07.2011

Fifteen year old Marie and her boyfriend Rob’s romantic Sunday picnic in the Trim Park at Blue Crane restaurant in Pretoria turned out to be a feast for a group of sexual predators.

“Fuck him!”

“Fuck him or we’ll fuck you.”

Sexual harassment felt richer in the Mother City. I was here studying and the comments flung from the back of bakkies had left me feeling ripe with sexual potential – in a bad way. “I wanna naai you!” And “hey sissie!” All the smooching imitations from passersby. I felt like a flecked, blushing labia parading down the street. It was completely unnatural. The Jacaranda City I left behind surely had less of this, sleepily buffered by its sheath of purple. I came to dread walking to Rondebosch on Main and longed to be back home where I imagined it was safe.

Then I got the call from Marie. Halfway through the picnic, three men approached. They were very high, with blood shot eyes. They wanted “stuff” – cell phones, wallets, anything really. Marie was composed over the phone up to this point. She was forced to take off her bikini bottoms from under her skirt. All the men stared and touched her. The next step would obviously be gang rape. But to her surprise came the demand to “fuck” Rob. And they did with virginal stumbling and inexperience before the threesome’s terrorizing gaze.

“Fuck him.”

“Fuck him or we’ll fuck you.”

After their Sunday “sexcapade”, they took Marie and Rob’s stuff and left. They had her favourite perfume – Marc Jacobs Daisy. That scent was now the trigger of disgust.

It could never compare, but listening to her, after my experience on the streets of Cape Town, I had an inkling of what she felt. The invasiveness and violation. The sickness of being sexualized against your will. It must have been just as wretched for poor Rob. I have known Marie all her life, and she lost her virginity like this.

The purple bubble of my hometown burst. It was a lie. The stark reality is this: there is is a real threat to women wherever we are in this country.


*Illustration © Alastair Laird.

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  1. Man-Child says:

    That is truly fucked up. Feeling a bit ill.

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  2. Thats Kinda Cool says:

    Wow. Wish I was there to watch. Marie sounds like a babe, plus, I fucking dig that perfume. Shit, if I was there I would make a video of it with my new iPhone, and then edit it with some ambient music playing in the background, maybe interview Rob and Marie afterwards and add that in as well. And then upload it to mediafire for download. Man now that would be DOPE!

    Because Im a motherfucking P I M P!

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  3. Andy says:

    A troll born every minute. Thanks for bringing the cheap shots… douche

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  4. Luke says:

    fuck this world.

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  5. Thats Kinda Fucked Up says:


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  6. Pascal says:

    This article comes across badly. It’s a terrible event that doesn’t seem real because of the writing style, eg “left me feeling ripe with sexual potential” and the accompanying “cartoon”. I honestly thought it was a fictional story until I saw Andy’s comment. Not the right way to do this.

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  7. Get a Sense of Humour says:

    Pascal, no one likes an arm chair critic.

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  8. Nelson says:

    This story is devastating. Vs. Pascal I actually like the harsh metaphors because they explicitly describe exactly how those sexual comments leave a girl feeling violated. About the cartoon – actually being acquainted with the real characters, i feel it approaches this sad event with a sense of mockery and insensitivity. @ Thats Kinda Cool: That would not be “D O P E” it would be disgusting.
    Still some good writing though.

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  9. teefourvee says:

    I don’t want to sound insensitive, but I would like to know what sort of a performance this Rob guy gave Marie. I mean, did he work that pussy, or did he just do a rush-job and get the hell out of there? did he tease the pussy, did he build up the excitement before he started hard fucking? did he use a condom? and what about her? did she just lie there, or did she work his cock, rocking her hips, grabbing his balls (never neglect the balls), grabbing his ass, showing him what she liked? i think the writer missed an opportunity here to give us something a little more tantalising.

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  10. Nelson says:

    You do sound insensitive. Go through that with your girlfriend or see your little sister suffer after the trauma of such a disturbing experience and rocking hips or grabbing ass won’t be too tasteful will it? Sexually deprived? go get some porn dvds perve.

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  11. Pascal says:

    Get a sense of humour – I wish you’d used your real name. Then could type it in and put a comma after it (to indicate exasperation), then I’d reply: Why wouldn’t I crit an article? What’s the point in not saying anything?

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  12. Andy says:

    Hey Pascal we agonised over the use of this image quite a bit. I felt it jarred and trivialised the story but was dissuaded by my deputy editor.

    “Well, I think it’s good primarily because it’s jokey. It’ll draw people in, they’ll be expecting something else and blam! the coup de grace. Otherwise it starts off serious and people are expecting it and then it comes off all emo and sanctimonious.”

    As for the trolls on this thread. I think we really need to start improving the neighbourhood of the Mahala message boards.

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  13. Pascal says:

    Thanks Andy. Much respect.

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  14. dudie says:

    brrrrrrr – its cold today, hey?

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  15. Wilson says:

    Fuck Cape Town, seriously, that place is a colonial nightmare. BTW this is a bit of a shitty article, why would mahala post this crap?

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  16. wtf says:

    this was weird….i feel weird after reading this..
    still don’t know what actually happened I also read this as fictional…

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  17. Blondie says:

    The illustration is – as per usual from Mr. Laird – brilliant. It’s the lame story that’s the problem. It could have been treated much better.

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  18. Thats Kinda Cool says:

    Hey Im the dude that wrote the above stupid comment. I just wanted to alolagise. Im sorry, I just wanted to have bit of fun, I though the story was fictional. Sorry Andy, I really have a lot of respect for you and what you doing.

    Sorry to all the mahala readers if I have hurt their feelings. I just treat rape as a joke because I know its so serious and Im sick of being sad about something thats not going to go away. So I tend to make jokes about it, usually to humour myself. I do have a sick sense of humour. Its like a cross breed between quentin tarantino and the dude that came up with the story line for days of our lives.

    You dont have to forgive me. I just wanted to say that.

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  19. piss says:

    Mahala doesn’t have the right tone for this kind of story, please leave the REAL news to REAL newspapers & keep on writing about the irrelevant crap you usually do

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  20. Andy says:

    Thats Kinda Cool… nice.

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  21. Andy says:


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  22. Danni says:

    Really, Really, bad illustration choice guys. I can’t image what Rob and Marie must think to have their sexual violation immortalised in comic splendour, drooling goons and all. I think you should remove it.

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  23. Danni says:

    Oh and Andy, being “dissauded” is no excuse. You’re the editor. Have some ballz, y’all.

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  24. Sarah Dee says:

    Have to agree with Danni.

    Andy your gut was right. It’s definitely not cool. The pic works to put the piece into the same tonal class as those women’s mag, O.M.G-I-was-mortified, embarrassing anecdote pieces. Frivolous, hackneyed humour. When actually its a totally devastating event. The written treatment is shaky too. Part scandalised, part shocked, part cocky. Insecure, immature writing.

    Not a high moment here on Mahala.

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  25. Andy says:

    yes we have learnt from this one… thanks team

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  26. Sad day on earth says:

    This is one of the saddest articles I’ve ever read. What made it worse was ALL the comments that came after. I’m not just talking bout the “Thats Kinda Cool” who is clearly not getting enough attention at home, but everyone else who heartlessly crit the writing style instead of sympathizing with the victims.

    The world is becoming a cold and lonesome place..

    Truly a sad day on earth….

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  27. So What If I Think Its Kinda Cool says:

    How can it be a sad day on earth? Dude its wednesday! The middle of the week! That means its almost Friday! Plus, its KFC Wednesday! Awesome! So please dont say its a sad day on earth, we are all breathing arent we? Maybe if today was the last on earth, that would qualify as the saddest day on earth. Or maybe the day Thom Yorke or John Frusciante dies. That would one of the saddest days on earth. But then again, if you the depressed type, which most white cape townians are these days (thats not a generalisation) then it makes sense you would say the things you say. This is just my opinion okay so dont kill the messenger please. Its called life, deal with it. Hey andy do you think I can write for mahala? I could do a piece on the cape town creative scene and how everybody is so anal. And sad. Shame. Move to the southern suburbs, you will see what lifes really about. Fun times everyday!!!

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  28. Sad day on earth says:

    I sure you are only trying to get a reaction out of me… So here it is… I’m not a white Cape townian and I do live in the Southern Suburbs… Yes… every other day is fun times but today ins’t one of them mainly because today I stumbled upon this article and I read your comments.

    Call me depressed or emotionally sensitive but at least I have feelings and care for the next person, unlike some of you who hide your own depression behind jokes.

    Enjoy your KFC Wednesday…

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  29. So What If I Think Its Kinda Cool says:

    Wow ‘sad day on earth’ im intrigued. You actually sound pretty hot. I dont know what else to say other than KFC wednesday was awesome! I had a zinger burger. Yo andy, cant you send me the details of this hot girl called ‘sad day on earth’ i know you have all our IP addresses. ‘sad day on earth’ whats your name?

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