The suspect is said to have used Facebook to lure his victims
The South African Police Service (SAPS) in the North West have arrested a 30-year-old man suspected of raping at least two women in the province, but have also hinted at the man being a suspect in other unsolved cases.
In both cases, the victims had their belonging stolen, which means the man might face additional robbery charges.
In a statement on Sunday, 21 June 2020, SAPS spokesperson Colonel Adéle Myburgh said:
“In an effort to bring to book those who perpetrate acts of violence against women, a team made up of the Klerksdorp Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences (FCS) Unit and the Provincial Organised Crime Unit investigators, on Friday, 19 June 2020, arrested a 30-year-old serial rapist”
The man is alleged to have attacked one of his victims on Saturday, 30 May 2020, in Klerksdorp after striking up a conversation with her on Facebook. The suspect is said to have falsely presented himself as a pastor to the victim.
“According to information available at this stage, reports suggest that a 27-year-old victim was befriended by the suspect via Facebook. They also had conversations on WhatsApp upon which the victim agreed to meet with the suspect in the evening on Saturday, 30 May 2020 at a grocery store in Klerksdorp. Allegedly, the suspect who pretended to be a pastor, met with the victim as agreed and ultimately took her to an open field behind the Technical High School. The victim was eventually threatened with a knife, raped and robbed of her personal belongings”
In another incident, the suspect is accused of sexually assaulting another woman he met on Facebook, 29-year-old in Ventersdorp. The incident occurred back in November 2019.
“In another unrelated incident in Ventersdorp, a 29-year-old victim also met the suspect via Facebook. They allegedly arranged to meet in the afternoon on Thursday, 7 November 2019 at Boikhutso Village. Subsequently, the suspect allegedly took the victim to an open field where he threatened her with a knife and raped her. He also robbed the victim of her personal belongings”
Possible link to other pending cases
Police have said investigations into the matter will continue and that they are not ruling out the possibility of the suspect being linked to other cases.
The Provincial Commissioner of North West, Lieutenant General Sello Kwena, lauded the team for their diligence which resulted in the arrest. He urged the public to exercise extreme caution when honouring initial appointments with potential friends, especially after meeting them through social media. Furthermore, he discouraged individuals not to meet strangers alone for the first time, but at public places where there are people who can protect one from harm.