Man suspected of raping varsity student caught after tip-off

A man suspected of raping a student and violently stabbing another in a Nelson Mandela University computer laboratory late on Monday has been arrested.

The breakthrough came yesterday afternoon after police received a tip-off about a man trying to sell a suspected stolen computer in Govan Mbeki Avenue in the Port Elizabeth city centre.

Police confirmed that a 29-year-old man had been apprehended at 3pm.

The Flying Squad, Humewood police officers and Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences Investigations Unit participated in the arrest.

Police spokeswoman Colonel Priscilla Naidu said the man, who is not being named yet, had been arrested following a tip-off about a person attempting to sell a computer.

“The suspect was detained with the computer in his possession,” she said.

“The cellphone of one of the students who was attacked has also been found in this suspect’s possession.”

After the attack, CCTV images of a man wearing a hat and an orange top – who police confirmed was a suspect – were shared across social media.

The arrest comes after outraged students blocked the north and south campus roads to the university, demanding answers on security concerns.

Naidu said the two students, aged 25 and 30, had been attacked in the lab after the man entered through the unlocked door at about 7.30pm.

He used a pair of scissors to threaten the students before stabbing one in the back and raping the other.

He then forced both women to carry goods he stole to the university’s perimeter fence where it borders Kuruman Kloof Street in Summerstrand.

The man fled with a computer box and monitor, as well as a cellphone belonging to one of the students.

NMU spokeswoman Zandile Mbabela said the university was relieved about the arrest.

“The university welcomes the arrest of the alleged perpetrator of the horrific incident,” she said.

“The hope is that the suspect is brought to book and justice is served.”

The suspect is due to appear in court tomorrow.

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