Job scam leads to rape

2011-06-21 00:00

A YOUNG South Coast woman learnt the hard way that falling for job offers from strangers through social networks could have devastating effects.

The 18-year-old woman, who cannot not be named to protect her identity, was raped and robbed of her belongings on arrival in Pietermaritzburg, where she had been promised a job.

She had responded to a vacancy advert on the MXit mobile chat network.

The 25-year-old attacker, who also cannot be named until he has pleaded to charges of rape and fraud, was arrested and appeared in the Pietermaritzburg Magistrate’s Court yesterday.

He was released on R1 500 bail and the case was postponed until August 5.

The Mkhomazi resident was attacked and molested at about 4.30 pm on June 4.

This meant the end of her hopes to work as a waitress for a city hotel, which she saw on the popular website.

After submitting her application, the woman was invited for an interview in Pietermaritzburg.

Before travelling to the city, she was sent a phone number to call in order to meet someone to escort her to the hotel.

However, the man told her that she was being recruited for a porno­graphic film shoot.

Police spokesperson Warrant Officer Joey Jeevan said, “The man took her on a detour and while walking along the Masukwane sports field in Pietermaritzburg, he told her that the job application was actually fake, but instead his boss wanted him to make a pornographic movie with her.”

“He then forced her on to the ground and raped her and thereafter performed other sexual acts on her.

“He demanded that she hand over her cellphone and cash, and then escorted her back into the city.”

Jeevan said that in the CBD the victim managed to escape and find help from a security guard and traffic officers. Community members and traffic officers tracked down the suspect and apprehended him, and he was handed over to the police.

Jeevan has appealed to anyone who may have fallen victim to a similar scam on the MXit chat site to call Detective Constable Xolani Nzuza of the Mountain Rise family violence child protection and sexual offences unit at his office at 033 387 9500, or on his cellphone at 072 881 3738.

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