SACBW PJ’s and pillow talk party – bonding at it’s best

Ms Annemarie Swanepoel, one of the businesswomen who supported the event.

MBOMBELA – The Emnotweni Arena was filled with the city’s businesswomen last Thursday, and they were dressed in pajamas! The South African Council for Business Women’s (SACBW) pajamas and pillow-talk party was a fun-filled and inspiring event.

The fun started with the dress code – the foyer was filled with women and their friends in pajamas. Bedtime-themed decor and welcoming drinks set the tone. Master of ceremonies Mr Robin Jansma welcomed the women and Natascha C set the party mood with a few songs.


Guest speaker Ms Linette Beerd delivered a highly entertaining presentation on different personality types. Her demonstration of how they interact had the crowd in stitches.

Ms Santi Britz, property specialist and SACBW member from Potchefstroom, is a rape survivor. Her story is one of hope.

On the evening of January 20, 2009 Santi and her sons went to bed after visiting her husband, Pieter, at a hospital in Klerksdorp. Pieter was a cancer patient. It was the sound of her bedroom door closing that woke her up the next morning. “Can I help you?” she asked the man in the doorway whom she hadn’t seen before. “I’m looking for you,” was his answer which preceded the 30 minutes of hell during which Santi was raped twice.

The police were called and five hours of police and medical examinations were what stood between Santi and the opportunity to wash herself and get dressed. When asked what she needed more than anything in those few hours, Santi said, “I just wanted something that would cover my body.” She chose to make her story known.

“The police caught the perpetrator and I testified about what had happened in court. Although this was like subjecting myself to a third rape, I stood my ground in front of a courtroom filled with members of the public. When he was sentenced to life imprisonment, the magistrate said I was the strongest state witness he had encountered in a rape case until that day.”

A few months later, another rape case depended on the testimony of a much younger state witness. In that case the latter was a nine-year-old who had witnessed the rape of her mother, which had left the child mute. The first time that she spoke again, was during a meeting between Santi and herself.

Santi, whose friend gave her a yellow rubber duck to comfort her after her ordeal, gave this same duck to the child, who started speaking to the duck for the first time in months. With it in her hand, the nine-year-old was able to testify in the trial. The rapist was sentenced to 15 years in prison.




The iDuc is a soft-toy version of the duck that helped Santi and the little girl. Unemployed women in less-fortunate communities have since been employed to make similar little stuffed animals and hooded robes. These are given to incoming rape victims at rape crisis centres across South Africa, by respective SACBW branches all over the country. Santi is also involved in the compiling of a layman’s counselling course at the University of the North West.

Santi addressing the women in one of the hooded robes.

Santi addressing the women in one of the hooded robes.


“I will not take this rape anymore.  We must all take a stand,” Santi explained. View IDUC’s Facebook page where more information has been made available on these projects.


Helene Eloff
Legal Adviser & Journalist

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