Cops nab alleged Facebook serial rapist and murderer
Johannesburg - A man, 29, who allegedly used Facebook to lure women to his house and rape them, has been linked to the murder of a woman who was found in the woods last month.
The police have linked him to the murder after arresting him for allegedly raping a teenager, 15, and a woman, 22, in Vezubuhle, near Kwamhlanga, in Mpumalanga on June 21 and 26
It is alleged that he would lure his victims on social media platforms by sending friend requests and, once they befriended him, constantly chat with them before inviting them to his place.
Police spokesperson Brigadier Leonard Hlathi said on June 21, a woman that the man had befriended on Facebook arrived at his place as he had asked her to accompany him to an event.
"When she went to his place, he welcomed her politely and invited her to his room. As soon as she entered, he allegedly took out a firearm and instructed her to undress, assaulted her then raped her. This matter was reported to the police who opened a case of rape."
Hlathi said the same modus operandi was afflicted on a teenager who had also befriended the man on Facebook and went to his place where she was also assaulted and raped.
"Through analysis, police concluded that they were dealing with a serial rapist using social media to prey on his victims. They then followed leads and pounced on the suspect at his residence.
"Whilst concentrating on the rape investigation, police also cracked an unresolved case of murder which occurred in May 2020. On that day, a lifeless body of 28-year-old Nonhlanhla Happy Maseko was discovered dumped under the bridge on the R573 road at Vezubuhle, near Kwamhlanga.
"At the time when the body was discovered, the suspect was unknown. However, the investigation has now uncovered that the suspect on the murder of Maseko is the same who allegedly raped the two victims," Hlathi said.
A charge of murder was added to the rape charges that the man was already facing.
Mpumalanga Police Commissioner Lieutenant General Mondli Zuma applauded the officers for the "sterling work done" and not leaving any stone unturned.
"This arrest shows that SAPS is very serious in dealing with the scourge of gender-based-violence and our systems as government are ready to ensure that justice is served for scores of women who have been victimised by men,” said Zuma.
The man appeared at the Kwamhlanga Magistrate’s Court on Monday and his cases were postponed to July 13 for bail application.
Last month police in Klerksdorp, North West, arrested a man, 30, who allegedly used Facebook to lure his victims, saying he was a pastor before accosting them at knifepoint and raping them.