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Phalaborwa FCS arrest suspect linked to 9 rape cases

The Acting Provincial Commissioner of Police in Limpopo Major General Jan Scheepers has welcomed the arrest of a 45-year-old suspect believed to be behind a string of rape cases reported between 2017 and 2021 at Namakgale and Lulekani policing areas outside Phalaborwa.

The suspect was arrested on Friday 21 April 2023 by members of the Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences (FCS) Unit in Phalaborwa after he was positively linked to nine cases of rape in which similar modus operandi was used.

The suspect has been terrorising residents in Matjetje and Makhushane and raped female victims aged between 15 and 36.

He would prey on women walking during the night with male companions, threaten them with a knife and then force them into the bushes and rape the women.

The suspect was first arrested in 2012 after he allegedly raped a 23 year old woman at Makhushane village who was walking alone at night and raped her in the bushes at knife point. The court then referred him to undergo mental assessment and was later released after the court ruled out that he had mental illness.

The suspect committed another rape in 2019 and he was unknown until he was linked through DNA evidence and became a person of interest and was ultimately linked to the nine cases.

The suspect’s luck ran out when police pounced on him at his workplace in Namakgale on Friday.

Police investigations are underway to establish whether the suspect could be linked to more similar crimes.

” I would also like to commend the concerted efforts of the members involved that resulted in the arrest of the suspect, which will bring down level of rape incidents in the affected areas and bring relief to the affected communities as well,” said Major General Scheepers.

The suspect will appear in the Namakgale Magistrate’s Court on Monday 24 April 2023.

SAPS Newsroom

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