Police in Polokwane traced and arrested a 22-year-old suspect who is accused of raping and assaulting his 70-year-old neighbour in Hlanganani under Mopani District. The suspect also robbed the elderly woman of a cellphone, clothes and house keys before fleeing.
It is reported that the suspect knocked on the door of the elderly woman's house at 12:30 am on Friday, October 27, 2023. The woman who was asleep in her home with her two grandchildren awoke to find the suspect who claimed that he travelled from Gauteng and found that his house was already locked.
The man started assaulting the victim as soon as he entered the house, using a knife and panga until she became weak and defenceless. The perpetrator then raped the woman and stole her belongings afterwards.
The children screamed for help and the community swiftly responded however the suspect managed to flee from the scene.
Police and Medical Emergency Services responded to calls on the scene and the victim was transported to the hospital for medical treatment.
The suspect was traced and arrested at his home shortly after the incident.
The Provincial Commissioner of the South African Police Service in Limpopo, Lieutenant General Thembi Hadebe condemned the recent rape and assault committed against the elderly woman and called on communities to stand together against crimes of this nature.
"The safety and well-being of all residents, especially our most vulnerable citizens, is of paramount importance. Such acts of violence are not only criminal but also a gross violation of human dignity and respect. We call upon the community to stand together against such abhorrent acts and we must reaffirm our commitment to creating a safe and secure environment for everyone in our province," said Lieutenant General Hadebe.
The suspect is expected to appear before the Tiyani Magistrate's Court on Monday ON charges of Rape and Assault with the intent to cause grievous bodily harm (GBH).