Cape Town - Police in the Eastern Cape has managed to arrest a suspect who has been wreaking havoc in Aliwal North between November 2021 and January 2022.
Akona Ntombana, 22, is expected back in the Aliwal North Magistrate’s Court on several counts of rape on Friday, February 4.
He made his first court appearance on Monday.
According to the provincial police spokesperson, Captain Ursula Roelofse, Ntombana’s crime spree started on November 21, 2021, when he raped two girls, aged 13 and 14 next to a quarry.
He struck again when he raped a 15-year-old girl near the Egqili School in Soul City, Hilton.
Due to the increase in rape incidents, the public were urged not to walk alone in the area. However, on December 3, 2021, a 24-year-old woman was raped in the same area.
It is alleged that Ntombana’s last victim is a 12-year-old girl who was raped on an open field near Egqili on January 17.
All victims had identified their perpetrator to be wearing a self-made balaclava, a beanie, khaki trousers, a black t-shirt and torn All-Star sneakers.
“The cases were assigned to Detective Warrant Officer Mokheseng at the Aliwal North, Family Violence, Child Protection & Sexual Offences Unit (FCS) who was in contact with the victims.
“On Thursday, January 27, 2022, Mokheseng received information from one of the victims that she saw the suspect that raped her. He then requested backup from Crime Intelligence (CI), the detectives, the K9 Unit and his colleagues from FCS.
“The members patrolled the area and tracked down the suspect. Unfortunately, at that stage, it was determined that it was not the suspect.
“All the members then continued to do crime prevention patrols still in search of the suspect,” Roelofse said.
However, luck seemed to come their way on January 28, when the investigating officer received a phone call from a victim who explained she saw a suspicious person in the vicinity where she had been raped.
“He agreed to meet the victim who was with her boyfriend at the time, and as they used the road to Joe Gqabi passing Soul City, she identified the suspect. The men then jumped out of the vehicle, and he was immediately arrested.
“The victim immediately recognised the beanie, trousers, black t-shirt and torn All-Star takkies. The suspect (Ntombana) was also in possession of a knife similar to the one that was described in all the cases.
“All the other units' members were also called for further assistance in the investigation,” Roelofse added.
Ntombana is expected to bring a legal representative on board before the court as well as get a date for his formal bail application.
Acting District Police Commissioner Brigadier Rudolph Adolph commended the investigating officer and the other units for their efforts to track down Ntombana.
Adolph said the community can now rest as the culprit is off the streets and will face the full might of the law.