Robber on run since 2009 linked to 13 rapes
A suspected serial rapist who managed to elude the police for close to 11 years, finally met his match – while attending a church service in Diepsloot.
And it was a tip-off from residents that finally sealed the fate of the 38-year-old who allegedly terrorised women in Diepsloot and Westonaria.
The man has been linked to 13 separate incidents by DNA evidence, it was revealed by authorities on Monday at the Randburg Magistrate’s Court, where he made his second appearance.
His arrest also put an end to his stint as a fugitive – he has been on the run from the law after an armed robbery conviction in Tzaneen in 2009.
The man, who can not legally be identified until he pleads on the bevy of rape cases ahead, was arrested on April 6, after a tip-off from the Diepsloot community finally allowed police to find him in the area.
On Monday, prosecutor Dinesh Nandkissor revealed that DNA forensic evidence had confirmed the man’s links to the 13 case dockets between Diepsloot and Westonaria, and that it was possible further cases could be added in the future.
Among the case dockets were incidents from 2008 and 2012 as well as more recently.
A source linked to the case confirmed that other forensic tests were still being conducted, meaning investigators were sure they would be able to link the man to other similar cases in Johannesburg.
At the man’s first appearance on April 8, he admitted he had had two previous convictions, though neither conviction was for sexual crimes. The first was for theft in 1990, for which he received a suspended sentence. The second was for armed robbery in 2009, for which he had been sentenced to 34 years in prison by the Tzaneen courts before fleeing from authorities.
On Monday, the man indicated that he still wished to apply for bail, while the prosecution had already put together an affidavit from the investigating officer asking the court that the man be kept in custody due to his nature as a flight risk and the seriousness of his crimes. The bail application is set down for next week.
Provincial police spokesperson Lieutenant-Colonel Lungelo Dlamini confirmed that the man was arrested while attending church in an open veld in Diepsloot, after residents alerted the police to his presence.
Police believed the man had been hiding out between Diepsloot and Tzaneen in Limpopo, and his usual method was to attack victims in the early hours or late at night, sometimes breaking into their homes, and in other incidents kidnapping them from poorly populated spaces.
This was the second breakthrough arrest for the police’s Gauteng Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences Unit in its hunt for some of SA’s most prolific serial rapists.
Last month, a 32-year-old man was arrested in relation to 10 rape cases. The 32-year-old became known for targeting residents of the Lawley informal settlement in Soweto.
“He would threaten to kill the victims if they reported him to the police. A warrant of arrest has been issued for him for more than 10 cases of rape, kidnapping, pointing a firearm, attempted murder and armed robbery,” Dlamini said.
He had been on parole for another rape case in Paulpietersburg, where he had been sentenced to 15 years’ imprisonment, before being arrested yet again last month...