An identikit of the suspect. Picture: SAPS

Johannesburg - Ekurhuleni police have launched a massive manhunt for a “violent plumber” believed to be a serial rapist who has already attacked about 40 women in Daveyton and surrounding areas.

Lieutenant-Colonel Mack Mngomezulu said the suspected serial rapist had been evading arrest since 2014.

A R50 000 reward has been offered for information that may lead to the arrest and conviction of the man, estimated to be aged between 25 and 30.

He allegedly terrorised the community in and around Crystal Park, Daveyton, Etwatwa and Putfontein, targeting both women and girls.

Mngomezulu said: “So far he has committed more than 40 cases of rape that have positively been linked to him through DNA testing.

"The police are working around the clock and pleading to people to come forward with positive information to stop the suspect from committing more rapes.”

Mngomezulu told The Star that the serial rapist’s youngest victim was a 12-year-old girl, with the oldest aged 44. The last reported rape was in November last year in Etwatwa.

According to victim descriptions and the police, the suspect pretends to be a plumber from the municipality and claims to repair taps, pipes and geysers, making it easy for residents to allow him into their premises. Once in, the man allegedly surveys the premises and then promises to return later to complete the job.

“On his return, after he had a conversation with the owner and spotted his prey, he threatens the victim with a knife or a firearm before raping them.

“The suspect in most cases shows up wearing a beanie. He speaks isiZulu, is very clean shaven, slender and short,” said Mngomezulu.

He added that the manner in which the suspected serial rapist conducted himself “shows that he is familiar with the area”.

The man operates at any time of day, including weekends.

With regard to child victims, the police said the alleged rapist pounces on them on their way from school and drags them to nearby veld.

“He is not using any transport. He is always on foot,” said Mngomezulu. The police said he does not appear to have a criminal record.

“For us to find out if the person was arrested before or not, we would need to take his fingerprints. We are still relying on the identikit that has been drawn out from the victims. That is what we have,” said Mngomezulu.

Anyone with information should contact Warrant Officer Solomon Malebye on 0794718385 or 0824115109, or Warrant Officer Neo Mekgwe on 0721449672.

The Star