Smart Chipwanya sad to tell the story of four men who ganged up on three defenceless women and left two of them with dead in Plastic View informal settlement. Picture: Oupa Mokoena/African News Agency (ANA)

Pretoria - Police in Pretoria on Thursday said that they were hunting for four men who allegedly went on a criminal frenzy, murdering two women at the expansive Plastic View informal settlement which mushroomed in the leafy Pretoria East suburb of Garsfontein.

Apart from the murders, Captain Augustinah Selepe said the quartet is wanted for rape, kidnapping and business robbery which took place at the highly populated informal settlement on Wednesday night.

"The gruesome murder has left the South African Police Service (SAPS) and the community of Plastic View devastated. It is alleged a group of four males, who are unknown, arrived at the shebeen to buy beers. On the premises there were three ladies -- the owner and two ladies who work in the shebeen," said Selepe.

"Shortly after the suspects bought beers, they asked to buy additional beers, and the owner informed them that the place was now closed. They insisted on buying more beers, and in the process of serving them, the suspects took out a firearm and pointed [it] at the three ladies. The suspects took money, sexually assaulted one of the victims, and thereafter they shot the owner of the shebeen who was aged 43."

Selepe said the criminals went on to rape one of the shebeen workers and then took her away from the premises on foot.

"A search which consisted of detectives and the K9 Unit was instituted immediately but with no success," said Selepe.

She said on Thursday morning, the body of the kidnapped woman, who was aged 38, was discovered by some members of the Plastic View community.

"The Tshwane District Commissioner Major General [Daniel] Mthombeni condemns in the strongest terms this horrific act. He further assured the community that the police will work around the clock to ensure that those responsible are arrested and face [the] full might of the law," said Selepe.

"Police have launched a manhunt for four suspects, anyone with information that could assist in the investigation and arrest of the suspects to contact 086-001-0111 or 082-444-4354 information anonymously."

The Plastic View informal settlement continues to expand, accommodating thousands of people from different parts of South Africa and neighbouring countries. The area is named after the plastic shacks which the residents reside in. On several occasions, the place has caught fire and the structures destroyed.

African News Agency (ANA)