Alleged serial child rapist arrested in Nelson Mandela Bay

Within hours of the case being reported to police, another three victims were located.
Within hours of the case being reported to police, another three victims were located.
Image: Gallo Images/iStockphoto

An alleged serial child rapist accused of raping four children between the ages of nine and 12 - all living in the same street - was arrested within 24 hours of one of the victims speaking out.

The details surrounding the alleged rape of a 11-year-old girl emerged late on Wednesday after she was admitted to Dora Nginza Hospital, and staff  contacted police.

Within 24 hours of police being alerted, detectives from the specialist Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences unit found another three alleged victims aged between nine and 12 years old.

By 7pm police had arrested the 26-year-old suspect at his house in Thambo Village area in Kwazakhele.

The victims cannot be named to protect their identity while the suspect can only be identified after he pleads in court.

Police spokesperson Captain Andre Beetge said the breakthrough came as a result of the hospital alerting police to the minor being raped.

“The minor was allegedly raped some weeks back and due to medical conditions, she was admitted to hospital on Monday.

"At that stage, what had happened was unknown. Doctors then gave confirmation of the rape and police were called on Wednesday. During the doctor's visit, the child admitted to her doctor that she was raped. This was confirmed with the forensic medical report,” he said.

“The hospital social worker alerted the Kwazakhele police who called for the specialist investigators to assist in the case.”

By Wednesday afternoon, police had opened the rape docket and found another three girls who had allegedly been targeted by the same guy.

“During an interview with the young victim, she mentioned the suspect's name as well as another girl's name who was also believed to be a victim.”

Beetge said that by late afternoon police had tracked down the three other victims and their parents.

“A case was opened by the parents on behalf of two nine-year-old girls while the parents of a 12-year-old girl opened an attempted rape case,” he said.

“All four victims stay in the same street and regularly played together. Through investigation, detectives established that the 26-year-old suspect lives in the same street and would allegedly lure the girls into his house with promises to buy them chips and sweets.

"This happened on numerous occasions between 2017 and 2019.”

Beetge said that some of the girls were raped several times over the past two years.

“All the girls have been taken to the doctors for medical check ups,” he said.

Beetge said that two cases of rape, one of a sexual assault and another of attempted rape were opened.

“We are working with the families of the victims to ascertain other possible victims.  It is unclear if there are more victims.

"Detectives are liasing with various other police station level heads to establish if the suspect can be linked to further cases in other districts,” he said.

“The state psychologist has been consulted and will be assisting in interviewing the victims to gather more details.”

Motherwell Cluster Commander Major General Dawie Rabie said that the swift arrest was a result of teamwork between the different units.

"The children in this community seem to have fallen prey to a serial rapist. Four young girls came forward but there might even be more.

"We urge parents to come forward where more child victims are identified. We also need parents to see the serious need of better adult supervision when children are allowed to play outside in the streets,” he said.

The suspect will appear in New Brighton Magistrate's Court on Monday where police intend to oppose bail in an attempt to ascertain if there are more victims.