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Southern Cape police have arrested a suspected paedophile in Knysna after uncovering a decade-long trail of sexual abuse involving at least three young girls and a boy.
During a week-long investigation following the rape of an eight-year-old girl who was attacked in George last Sunday, police, acting on a tip-off, traced and found three older victims who were allegedly sexually assaulted by the same man when they were younger.
On Saturday, members attached to the George Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences unit (FCS) swooped on the suspect’s home in the suburb of Welbedagt and arrested a 59-year-old man.
Southern Cape police spokesman Captain Malcolm Pojie said police also seized a Land Rover in which the suspect allegedly raped some of the victims.
“The information led police to the suspect’s house in Knysna where a search was conducted. Members consequently seized the suspect’s vehicle, a Land Rover, cameras, laptops and a video camera,” he said.
According to Pojie, the suspect allegedly lured his victims into dense bushes in the George area before attacking them.
The man has been locked up in the George police holding cells since his arrest on Saturday, and will remain there until his court appearance in the George Magistrate’s Court on Monday.
Now police are probing the possibility that more children have been attacked by the man, and have urged people to come forward with information.
Police, during their investigations, took statements from two young women, as well as from a 21-year-old man, who claimed they were attacked when they were about the same age as last week’s victim.
“The victims, one male now aged 21, two girls aged 18 and an eight-year-old girl, allege that the suspect lured them into dense bushes in the George area, where he raped them,” Pojie said.
He added that police, reacting to a tip-off, obtained a search warrant, as well as a warrant for the suspect’s arrest, based on the information received from the public.
They have appealed to anyone with information about the case, or about other possible victims, to call the George FCS on 044 803 4400.
Meanwhile, in a separate incident, police arrested two men in Oudtshoorn for possession of 19.2kg of dagga destined for distribution in the Southern Cape.
Following a tip-off, police stopped and searched a bus en route from Bloemfontein to Cape Town on Friday.
“They found 19.2kg of dagga concealed in two suitcases between the luggage of the passengers. The find led to the arrest of the two suspects, both from Mossel Bay,” Pojie said.
The suspects will remain in custody until their court appearance in the Oudtshoorn Magistrate’s Court on Monday.