Toll of terror

2011-10-14 00:00

POLICE are linking the man arrested on the South Coast yesterday for the abduction and murder of a schoolgirl in Gauteng on Wednesday to the attacks of the so-called Sunday rapist, who has allegedly committed 10 rapes and a previous murder.

The married 35-year-old suspect, who has a six-year-old child, handed himself over to police yesterday following the murder of 16-year-old Louise de Waal after she was abducted near her school in Roodepoort.

It has also emerged that he avoided serving time in prison in 2007 after being convicted of molesting three young girls at a bus stop in Roodepoort on the West Rand.

The man, who apparently attacked girls aged 10 to 17 over a period of three years on the West Rand and in North-West, handed himself over to police in Margate after his brother persuaded him to do so following a request from the police.

The man confessed to police that he kidnapped Louise and later murdered her.

Her charred body was found on a farm in the Krugersdorp district at about 1 pm on Wednesday. Her schoolbag and the firearm presumably used in the kidnapping were found in the suspect’s work bakkie in Roodepoort.

The police will conduct further forensic and DNA tests to confirm Louise’s identity, although a family acquaintance says Louise was identified by a unique navel ring. The ring, Louise’s earrings and a part of her school badge, which was embroidered on her uniform, were apparently the only clues to her identity.

The suspect’s identity may not legally be disclosed before he has pleaded guilty to the rape charges against him. He is expected to appear in the Krugersdorp regional court early next week.

At this stage, he has only been charged with Louise’s murder. Police said that other charges may be added later.

In the 2007 sexual assault case he was handed a three-year suspended prison sentence, and had to do community service.

At that stage the suspect was a distribution planner for a transport company in Kempton Park, but he currently fits ceilings and partitions on the West Rand.

Meanwhile, the police have connected the man with at least ten kidnappings (see graphic) — including the one in which Lazanne Farmer of Pretoria West was murdered.

Lazanne broke her neck in September last year while presumably trying to jump from the kidnapper’s bakkie. The kidnapper then took her 16-year-old friend to a wooded area where he gave her a drink, undressed her and then raped her.

Acting Gauteng police chief General-Major Nobesuthu Masiya said the police cannot yet say with certainty that the suspect is indeed the Sunday rapist, since the investigation is still underway.

The Sunday rapist attacked victims in the Rustenburg, Vanderbijlpark, Potchefstroom, Pretoria West, Carletonville, Krugersdorp West, Roodepoort and Hekpoort areas, among other places.

Related story: Suspect is neat, calm and composed

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