A 29-year-old man was arrested on Monday 29 June for the alleged rape of two young women aged between 15 and 22. The victims were allegedly raped by the same suspect on two separate occasions at Vezubuhle near Kwamhlanga, Mpumalanga on 21 and 26 June 2020 respectively.

MAN ARRESTED FOR RAPE OF TWO YOUNG WOMEN

An investigation revealed that the suspect would lure his victims on social media platforms by sending them friend requests. Once the victims befriend him, he would then chat with them for a few days before inviting them to his place.

“It surfaced that the suspect asked his first victim to accompany him to an event as a date. When she went to his place, he welcomed her politely and invited her to his room. As soon as she entered, he allegedly took out a firearm and instructed her to undress, assaulted her and then raped her,” said Brigadier Leonard Hlathi. 

This matter was reported to the police who then opened a case of rape. The second victim suffered the same ordeal and police investigated both matters.

“Through analysis, police concluded that they were dealing with a serial rapist using social media to prey on his victims. They then followed leads and pounced on the suspect at his place of residence,” added Hlathi. 

UNRESOLVED CASE CRACKED

Whilst concentrating on the rape investigation, police also cracked an unresolved case of murder which occurred in May 2020. 

On that day, the lifeless body of 28-year-old Nonhlanhla Happy Maseko was discovered dumped under the bridge on the R573 road at Vezubuhle near Kwamhlanga. 

“At the time when the body was discovered, the suspect was unknown. However, the investigation has now uncovered that the suspect on the murder of Maseko, is the same who allegedly raped the two victims,” said Hlathi. 

The Provincial Commissioner of the South African Police Service (SAPS) in Mpumalanga, Lieutenant General Mondli Zuma, has applauded the members for the sterling work done. 

“We are very happy with the good work done by the members who did not leave any stone unturned. This arrest shows that SAPS is very serious in dealing with the scourge of gender-based violence and our systems as government are ready to ensure that justice is served for scores of women who have been victimised by men,” said Zuma. 

The suspect appeared before the Kwamhlanga Magistrate’s Court on Monday. The cases were postponed to 13 July 2020 for formal bail application. 

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Presh JM Reporter

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