Community members arrest suspect after teen raped on Boxing Day

The 26-year-old man will appear in court soon. File Picture: Brenton Geach/Independent Newspapers

The 26-year-old man will appear in court soon. File Picture: Brenton Geach/Independent Newspapers

Published Dec 28, 2023


Community members in the Lulekani policing precinct in Limpopo have been lauded after arresting a suspect who allegedly raped a 16-year-old girl on Tuesday, December 26.

The 26-year-old alleged rapist was handed over to police.

The provincial police spokesperson, Brigadier Hlulani Mashaba said before the rape incident, the teenager was celebrating Christmas with friends in Humulani Village.

Later, she decided to walk home alone at about 2.30am.

While walking home she was approached by an unknown man who had been following her.

“The suspect produced a knife and instructed her to comply with his instructions and threatened to hurt her. Unexpectedly, the suspect dragged the victim to an unknown house which was abandoned. On their arrival, the victim was undressed and subsequently raped by the suspect.

“After the ordeal, the victim was instructed to leave the house but she asked the suspect to accompany her because she was afraid to go home alone,” Mashaba said.

The alleged rapist accompanied the teenager to her residence but left before the pair arrived.

She met three men from the community and disclosed what had happened to her.

“The trio mobilized the members of the community while following the suspect until he reached his residence.

“The suspect was later placed under arrest by the community who immediately called the police. During the arrest, a cell phone and an umbrella belonging to the victim were also recovered,” Mashaba said.

The Limpopo Police Commissioner, Lieutenant General, Thembi Hadebe applauded the outstanding positive approach that was displayed by community members which ensured the apprehension of the suspect without taking the law into their own hands and committing mob justice.

“I sincerely appreciate the good partnership between the public and police in combating crime in the province to rid out these types of individuals from the society,” Hadebe said.

The suspect is expected to appear before the Lulekani Magistrate’s Court soon on a charge of rape.