Lephalale - An intelligence-driven joint operation in the Lephalale policing cluster composed of various police units led to the arrest of two suspects, aged 18 and 20, in connection with the kidnapping and rape of a high school teacher in the area this past week, Limpopo police said on Sunday.

The officers worked around the clock since Friday morning and eventually tracked the suspects down in two separate areas outside Lephalale, Colonel Moatshe Ngoepe said.

During the arrests, one of the suspects was found in possession of the ignition keys of the victim's car, which was later found abandoned in bushes near Marken. 

The arrests came after suspects broke into the 28-year-old victim's rented home where she was sleeping in the early hours of Friday morning. She taught at a high school near Marken.

They bound her with ropes, loaded her inside the boot of her car, and drove away with her. Police were notified and she was later found dumped in the bush alongside the road to Bakenburg outside Mokopane. She had been admitted to hospital for medical treatment. 

"The preliminary police investigations have since revealed that two of the suspects involved in this chain of crime incidents are well known to the victim, as she previously taught them at the same school and they are also staying in this village."

It was also determined that the suspects had taken turns to rape the victim, and had dumped her still tied up in the bush before they fled the scene in her VW Polo.

Police had opened cases of housebreaking with intent to commit crime, kidnapping, armed robbery, and rape. The suspects would appear in the local magistrate's court soon, and investigations were continuing, Ngoepe said.

Limpopo police commissioner Lt-Gen Nneke Ledwaba "applauded the cluster commander of Lephalale Brigadier Masia and his team for a remarkable job well done for solving this complicated matter within 24 hours", Ngoepe said.

African News Agency (ANA)