MEDIAACTU | Investigation: Under the veil of young girls victims of a serial rapist in Touba Keur Gol
He should be behind bars in a Senegalese prison like all the other rapists.
The case is causing quite a stir in Senegal. It’s a case of rape like no other. One too many. One as heinous as all the others.
Surprisingly, Serigne Khadim Mbacké, a teacher in a Koranic school in a neighbourhood of Touba, was beyond the reach of the police. The events took place in Touba, more precisely in the Keur Gol neighbourhood.
However, here and on social media, everyone knew about the drama, which was perpetrated by a marabout named Sergine Khadim Mbacké.
Located seven kilometres from the town of Touba, the Keur Gol neighbourhood is very isolated and difficult to access.
The parents of the victims and the girls who had been raped gathered under the shade of a caïcédrat tree in front of the mosque, just a few steps from the Daara where the despicable events took place.
The rape case has triggered an unprecedented wave of anger on the web, particularly on Twitter, where Internet users have lashed out at the judicial authorities, who have been slow to react.
The marabout disappeared after being accused of raping at least 27 young girls to whom he was teaching the Koran. Following complaints lodged with the gendarmerie against him, the man has so far remained untraceable.
The Mediaactu editorial team tried to find out more about this case, which has sent shockwaves through social media.
One of our journalists contacted the gynaecology department of the Matlabul Fawzayni hospital in Touba, where a medical source confirmed the existence of vulvar lesions on several girls after consultation.
However, the medical source made it clear that she did not have the prerogative to confirm or deny the existence of rape on the young girls, as this was, according to her, the job of the legal authorities.
That being said, the delays in the legal proceedings have angered the parents of the victims, who claim that the detectives have shown no willingness to find the marabout, a situation that has upset them to no end.
We had filed a complaint since the beginning of the case, » recalls the father of one of the victims.
But we haven’t seen any movement because we haven’t been given any valid information. And that’s not right, because we’re talking about the rape of our 27 children. It’s really disgusting and we’re very tired. We’ve done our duty as victims, as citizens, which is to file a complaint with the courts.
Now it’s up to them to do their job. Unfortunately, they have shown no desire to do so. It’s almost as if they don’t want to find the marabout ».
The mother of another victim points out grey areason the procedure: « What we find astonishing in this case is that the gendarmes have received information that the Koranic master raped 27 of his students, have located him, and know where he is. But they are making no effort to go and catch him. We want to know why. If there are people who want to protect him too, we want to know, but we will not accept this injustice. In any case, we want justice in all its rigour;otherwise we will settle this matter ourselves ».
This Monday morning, Mediaactu contacted the Ndamatou police station to verify the information that Serigne Khadim Mbacké had been arrested by the police. Our source indeed confirmed it.
A woman in her sixties named Sokhna Mai Ndiaye, a relative of one of the victims, told our journalist who was on the scene:
« Serigne Khadim deceived us all: we saw in him the perfect religious guide. We idolised him so much that he had two Dahiras…
One for adults and another for children.
He doesn’t drink Café Touba, but the children still found a way to prepare milk for him at every religious gathering.
« My granddaughter is one of the victims. Her mother is disabled and there’s nothing she can do about it. Neither can I, because I’m ill and have been undergoing chemotherapy for 6 years.
Almost every family here is affected by poverty. The women do laundry so that they can make ends meet and help their husbands. Can you imagine?
These mothers and grandparents have not given up the fight for justice. The authorities have finally visited the families of the victims to provide moral, financial and above all legal support.
Bineta Tall’s pain is now shared by many mothers in the area, victims who are forced to live in shame and most of whom will never obtain justice.
« Who is going to come and ask for the hand of our daughters who have already been raped? asks a mother with a horrified look on her face.
« Serigne Khadim’s relatives came here to find a compromise. But when we refused, they told us that even if we continue with the proceedings, the case will be dismissed because this isn’t the first time it’s happened », said a sixty-year-old man called BayeBassirou, crying.
A habitual rapist
« In reality, Serigne Khadim Mbacké started raping the girls during the Covid-19 period, specifically during the curfew. But the case came to light only last 21 March », says Bineta Tall, the mother of one of the victims.
« Serigne Khadim Mbacké had already impregnated a woman. It was he himself who had covered it all up, and at the time, he had even been appointed to name the baby on the day of the naming ceremony, even though he himself was the child’s father. It all came out later, but the girl’s family was unable to take legal action to win the case. In addition, as we were just neighbours, there wasn’t much we could do.
Serigne Khadim was married and his wife visited him from time to time. Speculation has it that the wife was aware of what the marabout was doing.
Meetings with religious authorities
The parents of the victims met with the religious authorities in Touba in an attempt to win their case. The parents have turned to the government and women’s organisations to ensure that this series of alleged rapes does not go unpunished.
« We met with Serigne Bassirou Mbacké, the spokesperson for the Mouride brotherhood. We talked from 8pm to 3am », a victim’s relative told our reporter.
He added: « He made us understand that this case would be properly dealt with. He met with us a second time to put us in touch with Captain Wade of the gendarmerie company. When we went to see him, the officer told us that the marabout had already spoken to him about this particular case ».
The alleged rapist, the Koranic master Serigne Khadim Mbacké, was arrested on Monday by police officers. According to the Ministry for Women, the Family and the Protection of Children, the families of the victims « have filed a complaint with the relevant courts and the alleged rapist is being actively sought ». It reiterates that they will spare « no effort » to ensure that « justice is done in all its rigour ». The Ministry for Women, the Family and the Protection of Children has announced that they have « engaged their services to provide psycho-social and legal support for the children ».
For some, the atmosphere is one of mourning. Because the neighbourhood has become notorious for this story, which is not worthy of a religious community like Touba.
His name is even more pronounced on social media, where videos of the parents of his students have been circulating for weeks.
Since then, this Koranic school has been closed.
Mistrust is the order of the day here, and to get some of the alleged victims to talk, it’s a case of the Cross and the Banner. It took the intervention of the delegation from the Ministry for the Family, Women and Child Protection, the assistance of the neighbourhood delegate and a parent for us to be able to do our report.
The story broke when a 13-year-old girl refused to go to class one day, despite her mother’s vociferations.
Her mother told us that it was as she was leaving for the market that her daughter told her older sister that she was refusing to go to school because the Koranic teacher was having sex with her and all the other girls. The girl’s mother said she had been careful not to make unfounded accusations.
Nevertheless, she did not let her daughter go to school that day. She even took her to her workplace for safety.
The girl reported that the marabout gave them holy water before doing his dirty work. The girl finally summoned up the courage to open the Pandora’s box. This is how all the other girls confessed to their mothers that they had been forced by the Koranic master to have sex with him.
« They are victims of rape and touching by their Koranic master ».
« He (Serigne Khadim) used to perform oral sex on some of us, forcing others to suck his cock until sperm flowed into our mouths. And then every morning he’d have sex with one of us, and I told my older sister about it. She then took me to the midwife for a consultation. She then referred us to a gynaecologist.
As soon as this news spread like wildfire, every parent took their daughter or protégée to the midwife for consultations.
To dissuade us from reporting him, he would tell us that he would find out through his rosary.
« Every morning, when we came to study, he would ask us to go to his room. It was there that he abused some of us. For the younger girls, he would caress their sex and stick his finger in.
For the younger girls, i.e. those aged 10, after making them suck his cock until ejaculation, he forced them afellatio. As for the older girls, those over 12, he would have sex with them. After each sexual encounter, he would threaten us with these words: « If you ever try to tell anyone, I’ll know it from the rosary beads I carry with me ».
“Poor girls » stigmatised in the neighbourhood
« They have been stigmatised in the neighbourhood since these unfortunate events, » confides the head of the neighbourhood, Baye Adama Pouye.
The local leader goes on to say: « When they go out to go about their business, young people criticise them, calling them ‘second hand’.
This is a very distressing situation for the girls in this neighbourhood.
One mother, remaining anonymous, agreed with the neighbourhood chief. « Dessitou Serigne bi, or GuelouSerigne. They are so stigmatised in the neighbourhood that sometimes they refuse to go out.
Keur Gol, this neighbourhood wants now to give girls and women the place they deserve.
Women stand up and speak out for all the victims, and first and foremost for these 36 girls from the Keur Gol neighbourhood, who will be forever mute.
Légende de la photo: In the heart of Keur Gol, here is the Koranic school where Serigne Khadim Mbacké used to teach the Holy Koran.