Kimberley - Kimberley police have launched a massive manhunt for a “smooth-talking, fresh smelling” serial rapist, believed to have already raped 15 women in the Northern Cape.

The police have also appealed to members of the public to assist with any information that could lead to the arrest of the alleged serial rapist, who is allegedly terrorising large areas of Kimberley and surrounds.

The suspect, who is estimated to be aged between 30 and 40 years, has been linked to 15 cases of rape – committed in Modderriver, Kimberley, Kagisho, Galeshewe, Roodepan and Pabello – since 2011.

While the identity of the suspect is still unknown, DNA evidence found on all 15 victims, as well as their descriptions of the perpetrator, matched.

The suspect, believed to be a male of light complexion and tall build, reportedly chooses his victims when they leave taverns late at night or during the early hours of the morning.

After befriending them, the suspect pulls out a large knife, resembling a panga with plastic wrapped over the handle, and forces them to continue walking with him in a casual, calm way. According to the victims, the suspect then takes them to quiet areas, while remaining non-aggressive and charming.

He does, however, force his victims to look at him while he rapes them. Apart from injuries sustained during the rapes, no victims suffered any further injuries at the hands of the suspect, with the knife only being used to threaten his victims.

This modus operandi has remained constant during all the alleged rapes he has been linked to.

Police spokeswoman Colonel Priscilla Naidu said on Thursday that police hoped to positively identify the suspect from distinctive scars, tattoos and marks on his body, as described by the victims.

“He has marks on his face and a tattoo on his neck depicting the number 26. He also has a new scar on the left side of his inner thigh. He has brown eyes, with short, black, nearly straight hair, which is usually under a wool hat. He is known to wear black or blue jeans, white All-Star takkies and a black sports jacket with white stripes on the side of the sleeves,” Naidu said.

She added that the suspect was normally on foot and spoke Setswana and Afrikaans well. She also said that the alleged rapist was “neatly clad and had a fresh smell on him”.

Anyone with information can contact Major Kheswa on 082 3373 347 or Warrant Officer Kgatwane on 083 2630 750.

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