The women of Simile in Sabie are living in fear after five cases of rape were reported at the local police station.
The rapist allegedly hides his face behind a balaclava, to avoid being identified by his victims.
The Sabie police mentioned that a specialist from SAPS (Witbank) was called to assist the local detectives in identifying leads that can result in swift arrest.
“We have a problem of a serial rapist who targets women regardless of age. The rapist threatens his victims with a knife and drags them into the bushes to rape them in broad daylight. Only one of the five victims was raped inside her home after the rapist broke in. He’s reported to be of medium size and wears black clothes. The victims’ phones were taken by the rapist and we’ve applied for Section 205. It will help us to locate and retrieve the stolen phones if they were sold to anyone. We urge women to walk in groups in order to avoid becoming victims,” said the report.
Paul Mokgosinyane, TCLM, said that the community was enraged by the recent developments and wants the culprit to be arrested, in order to avoid mob justice. A meeting was held in Simile recently, whereby the Station Commander was available to hear the cries of the community, regarding this matter. He said that the community wants the police to be hands-on in hunting the rapist.
“I urge the community members to guard one another; your neighbour’s plight can be your plight tomorrow. Thugs must watch their backs; I don’t know what will happen to them if they are caught. The Station Commander has asked the community to hand over the rapist if he’s caught by the community. The laws are lenient and they should be toughened to protect the people,” said Mokgosinyane.
He added that the alleged rapist was spotted in Harmony Hill-Sabie, but he escapes upon hearing that the community was after him. Mokgosinyane said that residents have volunteered to monitor the area every morning from 3:00 am.
“We need whistles, pepper sprays, flashlight, batons or anything that can help in the manhunt for this rapist. I’m appealing to the community to stand up,” said Mokgosinyane.
The police were still on the hunt for the serial rapist at the time of going to press.
Sabie SAPS can be contacted on 013 764 1211