Thapelo Lekabe

Compiled by Thapelo Lekabe

Senior Digital Journalist

Alleged serial rapist linked to nine cases nabbed in Limpopo

The man is expected to appear in court on Monday.

A 45-year-old man believed to be behind a string of rape cases in Limpopo has been arrested.

The suspect was arrested after he was positively linked to nine cases of rape reported between 2017 and 2021 at Namakgale and Lulekani policing areas outside Phalaborwa.

Serial rapist arrested

Police spokesperson Colonel Malesela Ledwaba said the man was nabbed on Friday in Phalaborwa by members of the Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences (FCS) Unit.

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According to Ledwaba, the suspect has reportedly been causing terror among residents in Matjetje and Makhushane. The age range of his rape victims is between 15 and 36, and he is believed to have employed the same method of operation in all the incidents.

“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,” Ledwaba said in a statement.

Suspect previously arrested

The suspect was previously arrested in 2012 after he allegedly raped a 23-year-old woman at Makhushane village who was walking alone at night. He raped the woman in the bushes at knifepoint, according to police.

Ledwaba said the man was released from jail after he underwent a psychiatric evaluation. It is unclear what the outcome of the mental assessment was and why the rape charge was dropped.

Ledwaba said the man 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 rape 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.”

The suspect is expected to appear in the Namakgale Magistrate’s Court on Monday.

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