Santaco ‘working closely’ with police to hunt down gang ‘rapists’

The three suspects are allegedly behind a string of attacks on women, with the latest victim being raped in front of her 10-year-old son.

The South African National Taxi Association (Santaco) said it was working closely with police to identify and track down three suspects involved in recent gang-rape incidences around Johannesburg.

At least seven women have been admitted as outpatients at Ikhaya Lethemba, a trauma counselling shelter, after being attacked by three unknown suspects driving one of two Toyota Quantum taxis.

Operating around Soweto, the West Rand and Roodepoort the suspects, who are still at large, lure women into the vehicles before driving them to isolated locations, robbing them and gang-raping them.

The last reported incident involved a young mother who was raped in front of her 10-year-old son last weekend.

“We are working with Sapa; we are not looking at taking the law into our own hands,” said Santaco’s secretary-general, Ralph Jones.

“We do have our own internal measures, which will be followed and from there we hand over the suspects if they are identified.”

The victims were visibly “emotionally scarred”, according to department of community safety spokesperson Ndivhuho Gadisi.

“The information I got from the centre is that most of them are severely traumatised and the most recent one was with her small child, so it’s very bad.”

Police said on Friday that an identikit had been drawn up and several leads were being followed, but no arrests had been made.

Saps spokesperson Lungelo Dlamini said someone was taken in for questioning on Thursday, but was later released as they were not positively linked to the incidents.

The ANC Women’s League has called on the taxi industry to be more accountable for the safety of passengers.


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