The affordable education loan option
Johannesburg - A 39-year-old man who has appeared in court is believed to be the serial child rapist wanted since 2007 for a spate of attacks committed over six years in Gauteng and Limpopo.
The Tembisa man’s preferred victims were girls between nine and 11, and by the time he was arrested on July 11, 22 girls and a 22-year-old woman had been raped.
The man, who is yet to plead to the charges, appeared briefly in the Protea Magistrate’s Court in Soweto on Friday. The matter was postponed for further investigation.
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. As police looked for him, it is believed he fled to Gauteng, where he allegedly continued to rape young girls.
National Prosecuting Authority spokeswoman Phindi Louw said some of his alleged victims included:
* Six girls in Tembisa;
* Four in Kliptown, Soweto;
* Four in Eldorado Park;
* Four girls in Olifantsfontein, Midrand;
* One in Lyttelton, Centurion;
* One in Lulekani; and
* A 22-year-old woman in Centurion.
Investigations are continuing into allegations that there are several more victims in Soweto and Ivory Park.
Louw said one of the serial rapist’s tactics was to ask the children for directions so as to lure his young victims into the veld, where he would rape them.
He is also alleged to have targeted children walking in groups, and as he raped them, he would force the others to watch. He is said to have waited for them on their way to or from school.
While the rapes occurred in several areas, investigators believe they could be dealing with one person after they realised that the modus operandi was the same in all the cases.
A source who spoke to The Star on condition of anonymity as he is not allowed to speak to the media said that in most cases, the man would ask the children for directions.
He would convince the girls to walk with him and show him the place he was looking for, promising them money in return. When they get there, he would ask for other directions and make the children walk with him again.
When the children got tired he would take them to the bushes and rape them.
“He would hit them and rape them. In some instances he would tell the other children to wait for him while he quickly went somewhere. He would take two children with him, rape them and then go back for the others who would be innocently waiting for him.
“In the case of the 22-year-old raped in Centurion, she was knocking off work when she was captured at gunpoint by three men.
“They took her to the bushes where she was raped throughout the night.
“The man arrested for the rapes of the children is believed to be one of her rapists,” the source said.
The Tembisa man’s arrest came 14 days before serial rapist accused Sifiso Makhubo committed suicide in his cell at Johannesburg Prison. Makhubo, who was HIV-positive, was facing 122 charges of rape, kidnapping, robbery, murder and attempted murder.