Durban - A 43-year-old truck driver has been arrested for allegedly raping a hitchhiker in her 20s.
According to police, the man was arrested in the Middleburg area shortly after picking up the victim from Kariega.
Provincial police spokesperson Colonel Priscilla Naidu said the incident took place on Monday at around 4pm.
“It is alleged the 23-year-old woman was in the truck with other passengers, and when the truck driver dropped the other passengers in Jansenville, she continued her ride alone with him in the truck.
“It is further alleged about 30km from Graaff-Reinet on the Jansenville road at a resting spot, he threatened the woman with a firearm and raped her.
“She was dropped off in Graaff-Reinet, where she alerted police.”
Naidu said a swift follow-up investigation by SAPS Graaff-Reinet Operational Command Centre (OCC) and Vispol members led to the speedy arrest of the truck driver in Middleburg.
“The driver was arrested whilst en route to Colesberg. He was detained on a charge of rape.”
Sarah Baartman District Commissioner, Major General Zolani Xawuka, commended the police members for their immediate action and apprehension of the suspect.
“The SAPS would like to warn women of the dangers of hitch-hiking as they can easily fall prey to robberies, rape, human trafficking or even murder,” said Xawuka.
“The ride is not always free. Hitch-hiking can be dangerous either for the driver who stops to pick up strangers as there is a possibility that he/she can be hijacked of their vehicle and belongings, while at the same time, hitch-hiking just for a lift can also pose a danger as in this case.
“Never hitch-hike, as this places your safety in danger.”