Runaway rapists hunted after tourist's ordeal

By Time of article published Nov 18, 2002

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By Maytaal Angel

Police have launched a manhunt for two of the four men who raped a 29-year-old British tourist in a 14-hour-long hijack ordeal that began on the Sabie-Lydenburg road in Mpumalanga on Saturday.

The two other suspects were arrested hours after the attack.

The four men - who also stabbed the Briton's 26-year-old South African friend - overturned the hijacked vehicle, a red Toyota Venture, on the Badplaas-Barberton road in the early hours of Sunday morning.

The victims escaped, however the attackers then allegedly shot dead a passing motorist, Domingo Campbell, who along with a friend pulled over to help after seeing the overturned car.

Campbell's friend was wounded.

Senior Superintendent Mary Martins-Englebrecht said while two of the men were arrested early on Sunday morning, the other two were still at large.

She said police had found two of the men - a 20-year-old Zimbabwean national and a 29-year old South African from Nhlazatashe in Mpumalanga - just 5km from where they recovered the hijacked car.

The pair, who were found in possession of a wallet and a cellphone belonging to the South African hijack victim, would appear in the Barberton magistrate's court on Tuesday to face charges of armed robbery, said Martins-Englebrecht.

They might also be charged with rape, kidnapping, assault and murder.

Martins-Englebrecht said the Briton and her friend, who were taken to a nearby Barberton clinic on Sunday and treated for lacerations and stab wounds, had been released.

She said the two were reportedly severely traumatised and were recovering at the home of the South African man in Mpumalanga.

Meanwhile on Monday, the British High Commission announced that it might review the travel advice given to British nationals visiting South Africa in light of the attack.

"We need to perhaps strengthen the wording in the current travel advice document in light of the recent attacks on our fellow citizens," said spokesperson Nick Sheppard.

The weekend attack on the tourist is the second in less than a month. In October, Diane Conway, a Briton, was killed and her husband, Major John Conway, was wounded in an armed robbery at a Pilgrim's Rest hotel.

Sheppard said he did not know what the changes to the travel advice would be. "If we decide to make some additions in the document, those changes will be pronounced approximately in the next 48 hours."

He said the current travel advice document warned British tourists against hijackings, incidents of rape and other violent crimes prevalent in South Africa. - Sapa

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