The man uses a firearm when he does his crime.
A 29-year-old KwaMhlanga Facebook user is facing charges of rape, murder, assault as well as pointing of a firearm in order to rape girls in the area, this after he had lured them to come his home using the popular social media site.
Police spokesman Brigadier Leonard Hlathi said the man was remanded in jail this week Monday 29 June 2020 when he appeared in court.
The women he raped are aged between 15 and 22 and a charge of murder has been added after a 28-year-old woman was murdered.
Hlathi said they were able to link the man to the murder of the woman whose lifeless body was found in May 2020 dumped next to the road in Vezubuhle near KwaMhlanga.
He said the victims were raped by the same suspect in two separate occasions at Vezubuhle north of Kwamhlanga on 21 and 26 June 2020 respectively.
The suspect would invite his victims on social media and then begin chatting with them, before inviting them over to meet him.
On 21 June 2020, the first victim was invited over for a “date”.
When she went to his place, she was welcomed politely, Hlathi said, and once in his room the man threatened her with a gun – forcing her to undress while assaulting and raping her.
The firearm used in the attacks is legally owned and licensed to the man.
“This matter was reported to the police who opened a case of rape,” said Hlathi.
He said the second victim, who was raped on 26 June 2020, experienced the same and police investigated both matters.
“Through analysis, police concluded that they were dealing with a serial rapist using social media to prey on his victims. They then followed leads and pounced on the suspect at his place of residence,” said the cops spokesperson.
He said while concentrating on the rape investigation, police also made a major breakthrough on the murder of the 28-year-old woman whose body had been found in May.
The killer of the woman had all along been unknown.
“However, the investigation has now uncovered that the suspect in the murder of the woman is the same who allegedly raped the two victims,” he said.
Mpumalanga police boss Lieutenant-General Mondli Zuma applauded his cops for the arrest, saying the arrest shows members of the police service are serious about fighting issues of women abuse.
“We are very happy with the good work done by the members,” said Zuma.
The man returns to court on 13 July 2020 to try and apply for bail.
(edited by MLM)
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