Eastern Cape - An Eastern Cape man accused of a string of rapes and murders in an area of Butterworth dubbed the “village of death” has been arrested, according to a report on Wednesday.

The Daily Dispatch reported that the man was arrested on Sunday after allegedly hacking an elderly woman to death the previous night.

He appeared in the Butterworth Magistrate's Court on Tuesday on charges of murder, attempted murder, rape and housebreaking, but was not asked to plead.

Captain Jackson Manatha said the man was accused of a number of crimes in the area, which residents referred to as the “village of death” because of the murders of 19 women there since 2008.

He was believed to be related to a man convicted earlier this year of murdering a 70-year-old woman and her granddaughter, 12, in the village.

He would appear in court again on August 23. - Sapa