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Rape suspect accused of abusing victim in front of her family, arrested after being on the run

File picture: Henk Kruger African News Agency (ANA)

File picture: Henk Kruger African News Agency (ANA)

Published May 27, 2022

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Durban - A 20-year-old man from Mpumalanga, who had been on the run since last year for his alleged involvement in two separate rape incidents, was arrested this week after community members worked closely with police to find him.

One of his victims was a 16-year-old girl and the other was a 31-year-old woman, police spokesperson Brigadier Selvy Mohlala said.

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The suspect was spotted on Thursday by a victim’s mother in Amersfoort, a small town in the province.

Amersfoort police responded to the call and managed to apprehend the suspect, who had been evading the police since August last year.

“In one of the incidents, during the evening in July 2021, the suspect – armed with a knife – allegedly held the then 31-year-old woman hostage, robbed her of a cellphone and sneakers, and raped her, before he fled with her personal items.

“Thereafter, the suspect allegedly entered a certain house in Amersfoort in August the same year, held a family hostage and raped a girl – who was 16-years-old at the time – in front of her family, and also robbed her of a cellphone and sneakers before he fled the scene,” Mohlala said.

“The 16-year-old girl’s mother and brother had to witness the suspect rape her inside their own home,” said Mohlala.

Mohlala said both cases were appointed to the Standerton Police Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences Unit (FCS).

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In the coming days, she said the suspect will possibly be linked to both the incidents, while police have also not ruled out that he may be involved in other similar cases, prior to the July and August 2021 crimes.

“We are forever grateful for the overwhelming support that we receive from our communities in this province, through provision of information on the whereabouts of wanted suspects. The battle against the scourge of gender-based violence is winnable, as long as we continue to work together, where all role players do their parts,” said provincial commissioner of the SAPS in Mpumalanga, Lieutenant-General Semakaleng Daphney Manamela.

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