A South African mother is free after prosecutors declined to charge her for killing one of her daughter's rapists and injuring two other men.
The 56-year-old woman, nicknamed "Lion Mama" by the South African press, was arrested and admitted to stabbing three men, killing one, after she found them raping her 27-year-old daughter, reports South African newspaper, TimesLive.
The mother has not been named to protect the privacy of her daughter.
The rape allegedly took place in an unoccupied house in Eastern Cape on Sept. 2. The mother was home when she got a call from her daughter's friend, who said the daughter was being raped by three men who were holding her at knifepoint.
"I called the police but could not report the matter as the phone was not answered," the mother said.
The mother then ran 2 miles across town with a kitchen knife to the unoccupied house, reports the Independent.
When she got there, she says she saw three men taking turns raping her daughter. She reportedly told police she stabbed all three men until they stopped moving.
The mother stayed in the house to comfort her daughter. When police arrived, she was arrested and charged with murder and two counts of attempted murder.
After her case was reported, Lion Mama became a hero in South Africa. People across the country rallied to support her and a crowdfunding page was set up, raising more than $9,000 to help pay her legal fees.
Hundreds of Lion Mama's fans showed up in court to support her and cheered when it was announced that all charges were being dropped and she was free to go, reports TimesLive.
"I felt like an old baboon that has no friends, but today you showed me I have people and that I was not alone," she told her supporters outside the court. "Thank you."
A spokesperson for the prosecution told News24 the decision to drop the charges was made "based on the evidence in the docket."
Lion Mama's attorney, who was representing her pro bono, said the money raised by supporters would go towards trauma counseling for the mother and daughter.
"She said she wants a fence and another room for her daughter," attorney Buhle Tonise said. "She also asked for assistance with managing her money as she has never had that amount of money. She wants assistance on how to save the money."
The two men who survived Lion Mama's stabbing are still in custody, awaiting trial on rape charges.