Johannesburg - The SAPS is investigating at least 100 counts of rape against a Tembisa man. The figure would make the man the country’s worst serial rapist if he is found guilty.
A source familiar with the investigation – who cannot be named as he isn’t authorised to speak to the media – said the 40-year-old was accused of having raped more than 50 schoolgirls between the ages of 6 and 12.
Some of the counts against him include kidnapping and assault.
It is understood police are still investigating more cases, which are said to have linked the man to incidents in other parts of Gauteng.
The accused, who cannot be named before he pleads to the charges, was expected to appear in the Protea Magistrate’s Court on Thursday morning.
The Star understood on Wednesday that the matter would be postponed to next month for further investigations.
Gauteng provincial police spokeswoman Captain Doniah Mothutsane confirmed that the accused was facing rape charges but could not state the exact number.
Mothutsane also confirmed there was a pending rape matter against the accused in Kliptown, Soweto.
She said the complainant in the matter was the father of a 9-year-old.
The girl had arrived home in dirty clothes.
Mothutsane said the child and her friend alleged they had been confronted by the man, who forced them to go into the veld, where he assaulted and raped them.
The girls were on their way back home from school when the incident happened, according to Mothutsane.
The accused had been in custody since his arrest on July 11 last year.
His arrest came shortly after he was released from custody on a matter not related to rape.
The man, from Winnie Mandela Park, is suspected to be the serial child rapist wanted since 2007 for a spate of attacks committed over six years in Gauteng and Limpopo.
It is believed that his reign of terror began in Lulekani, Limpopo, in 2007, when he allegedly raped his first victim, a 10-year-old.
It is believed that he then fled to Gauteng, where he allegedly continued to rape young girls in Tembisa, Ivory Park, Olifantsfontein, Kliptown, Eldorado Park and Freedom Park.
According to the source, the alleged rapist’s modus operandi was to ask the children for directions early in the morning as his victims were going to school.
“He took most of his victims in the morning and released them only later in the afternoon.
“In most cases, he asked for directions and then led them into the veld, where he would rape them,” the source said.
He said the accused would convince the girls to walk with him and show him the place he was looking for.
“When they get there, he would ask for other directions and make the children walk with him again.”
The man is believed to have followed girls walking in groups, and, as he raped one, the rest were forced to watch.
“(Sometimes, he would) claim that his child lived at a particular house, asking the children for directions or to enter those houses to call the child – (only for the child) to find out that it was just a formulated story that would make him lead the children elsewhere, mostly into the veld,” the source said.
The Tembisa man faces more charges than Mongezi Samuel Jingxela, South Africa’s worst serial rapist.
Jingxela was found guilty and imprisoned in 2010 of having committed 66 rapes within 10 years.
He lured his women victims under the pretext that he would employ them at a factory.
Last year, Sifiso Makhubo, also from Ekurhuleni, was found dead in a Johannesburg Prison cell, hours before he was due to stand trial.
Makhubo was accused of raping 33 girls and two women.
Prosecutors were planning to charge the HIV-positive man with attempted murder – the first time they would have done so in a case in which someone had committed rape knowing his HIV status.