The body of a man was found floating in the sea near Brighton Beach, Port Elizabeth on Sunday afternoon – about 15 hours after he and a female companion were hijacked in North End.
Police spokeswoman Colonel Priscilla Naidu said the “traumatic ordeal involving two students from the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University” started at about 9.30pm on Saturday when the 28-year-old man and a 21-year-old woman were hijacked in North End.
“While seated in the car, about six men approached the couple and pointed at them with a firearm. The couple was pushed into the boot of the car and two suspects drove off with their vehicle,” Naidu said.
“The couple was taken to a beach in Port Elizabeth where the 21-year-old woman was allegedly raped and her male friend shot a few metres away from the car. The suspects drove off with the woman and dropped her off in central Port Elizabeth.”
Naidu said the incident was reported to police on Sunday morning and an investigation team was immediately mobilised by acting Mount Road cluster commander, Brigadier Ernie Neveling.
A manhunt, including the PE Flying Squad, SAPS Air Wing, SAPS Search and Rescue divers and National Sea Rescue Institue (NSRI), was launched for the suspects and the missing man.
His body was found floating in the sea near Brighton Beach at about 12.30pm on Sunday.
Naidu said the victim’s vehicle, a gold Volkswagen Polo Vivo with the registration number HSC 308 EC had not yet been recovered.
She appealed to anyone with information to contact detective Captain Klippe Killian on 083 391 2377 or Constable Nkaza 082 442 1384 or contact 08600 10111.
Charges of hijacking, rape and murder are being investigated.