Woman bragged of assault in improvised song lyrics, interpreter tells court
Warning: This story contains graphic details some readers may find disturbing
A Congolese language interpreter testifying at the trial of four women accused of viciously attacking another woman in 2015 — and then posting footage of the attack on Facebook — says one of the accused boasted of the assault in improvised song lyrics.
Eunice Ilunga, 43, Sandrine Tomba-Kalema, 37, Safi Mahinja, 27 and Nina Janina Raul, 35 all face charges of unlawful confinement, sexual assault and taking intimate images of someone without their consent.
Ilunga, Tomba-Kalema and Mahinja each face additional charges of break and enter, kidnapping with intent to confine, assault, assault with a weapon and sexual assault with a weapon.
- Sexual assault posted to Facebook was revenge over boyfriend, court hears
- Victim feared for her life after alleged attack by women
All four have pleaded not guilty to the charges and have been out of custody since posting bail.
Alleged attack over relationship
The accused women and the victim, who was 21 at the time of the assault and who cannot be named because of a publication ban, belong to Ottawa's tight-knit Congolese community.
The July 3, 2015, attack was over the victim's relationship with a man who was also in a relationship with Ilunga, Assistant Crown Attorney Louise Tansey said in the Crown's opening statements last week.
Videos of the alleged attack show the young woman either naked or nearly naked as Ilunga, Tomba-Kalema and Mahinja verbally and physically assault her, court has head.
In one video, her attackers apply hair removal cream to her pelvic area and wipe it away, removing her pubic hair, the trial heard last week. In another, her attackers berate her in Lingala — one of the languages spoken in Congo — as someone strikes her.
On Monday, the trial heard from Eugenie Kalagirwa, who has worked for the federal government as an interpreter of Lingala.
In a different video that's been played at the trial, Ilunga is shown in a car, singing along to a song in Lingala and replacing the words with her own lyrics.
Kalagirwa testified Monday that Ilunga's new lyrics referred to the alleged sexual assault against the woman.
'All the words are quite different'
At one point, Kalagirwa said, Ilunga sings "We cut her pubic hair, cut, cut, cut," and then refers to cutting a "fumbwa" — a curly vegetable that's Lingala slang for pubic hair.
Kalagirwa said Ilunga can also be heard singing "Little girl, be careful: Chou Chou [Ilunga's nickname] hits so hard," and that "Young people are rude — they cheat with another woman's man."
"All the words are quite different from the [actual] lyrics," she told court.
Kalagirwa's testimony about the improvised lyrics echoed that of the Crown's first witness, Trésor Kisisa, who first took the victim to police and also testified last week about Ilunga's singing.
The trial continues Tuesday.