Port Elizabeth  - A perceived increase in rape and murder cases in Port Elizabeth has resulted in police calling for women to exercise extra caution.

Police spokesperson Priscilla Naidu is urging women to be extra cautious and not walk alone at night or engage in conversation with strangers.

This was after the police in Ikamvelihle were urgently seeking the community’s assistance in tracing a murder and alleged rape suspect wanted in three separate cases.

Naidu said the first incident, on February 16, a 43-year-old woman was found semi-naked and murdered in a field near a primary school in Motherwell.

Explaining further, she said the woman had been assisting a friend to babysit at a house in Ngcungcu Street.

“At about 5am on February 16, the victim left the house and her body was found three hours later".

Naidu said the body was found semi-naked and had sustained several stab wounds to her neck.

In the second incident, on May 4, Naidu said the body of a 21 year old woman was found in bushes in Addo Road in the Ramaphosa area.

"The victim was at a tavern in Motherwell NU10 with family members. She remained behind when her family had already left," she said. 

She said the victim's boyfriend then took her to his house and she spent the night with him.

 "The following day at about 11am, he was walking her home when she met a woman that she acquainted in the tavern, the previous night.

"Her boyfriend left her with the woman, and her badly bruised and semi-naked body was found on May 4," Naidu said. 

Police are urgently trying to locate the woman as she may assist with vital information in the investigation.

In the last incident, Naidu said at about 10.45am on Sunday, a partially decomposed body was found in the Ramaphosa area.

She said a community member alerted the police to the stench emanating from the bushes. "The body was found not far from where the second body was found in May 2019," said Naidu. 

She said the woman is unknown and police were appealing to anyone who may be looking for a woman who has not returned home, to contact the police.

"In all cases, it is suspected that the women may have been raped,” she said. 

Police were still conducting DNA results.

Ward councillor Sandile Nzanzeka condemned the killing of women.

"I condemn in the strongest possible terms, the manner the brutal killing of women in Port Elizabeth," Nzanzeka said.

“My sincerest condolences go out to the families, friends and colleagues of the victims," Nzanzeka said.

Anyone with information may contact Sgt Elton Tau at Ikamvelihle Police Station on 082 303 0432.

All information is strictly confidential and callers have the right to remain anonymous.

[email protected]

Cape Argus