Police probe Richards Bay robberies, rape link with South Coast

2011-11-24 00:00

POLICE are investigating a link between the rape and robbery of a family at Richards Bay and two similar incidents on the South Coast last week.

The nephew of the holiday maker who was raped in Richards Bay on Monday night said they were forced to watch what unfolded at gunpoint.

The 20-year-old man from Walkerville, Gauteng, was holidaying with the group from Vanderbijilpark. They included the rape victim’s son and two friends.

They had arrived in Richards Bay’s upmarket suburb, Meerensee, for a five-day holiday just after 9 pm on Monday. They were staying in a self-catering unit and went to a 24-hour store to buy a few items. When they returned at 10 pm, the men were waiting for them.

“We returned to the unit when the four armed men confronted us. They said, ‘Lie down or we will f****ng shoot you’. They started to tie me up first when they demanded the wedding ring from [the rape victim].

“She said she couldn’t take it off so one guy [pistol whipped] her on her head. They then took us to another room where the one man raped her in front of us. They made us stand there at gunpoint. She was scared and panicking. They left us in the room.

“I calmed everyone down as best as I could. After a while they led us to the neighbours’ unit.

“They told us they were robbing us because they had inside information. These criminals will pay for what they did,” said the man.

After ransacking the flat the gang moved to the other unit on the property, which has five-metre walls, barbed wire and an electric gate.

According to the elderly victim from the second unit who asked to remain unnamed the men entered her flat an about an hour-and-a-half after robbing the group from Vanderbijilpark.

She said the suspects gained entry to her unit at about 11.30 pm through the bathroom and kitchen window.

“We had just gone to bed and seconds after I got up to go and check on the dog our bedroom light was flicked on and a man entered our room.”

The gang demanded jewellery, money, cellphones and laptops and threatened to rape the elderly woman. The men led the group from Vanderbijilpark into their room, tied every­one up with shoelaces and stole the rape victim’s car.

On Tuesday morning the SA Police Service recovered the car in the nearby township of eSikhawini.

Richards Bay police spokesperson Captain Debbie Ferreira said no suspects have been arrested.

However, the Richards Bay police may look into a link between the robbery and rape in Richards Bay and two similar incidents in Scottsburgh on Thursday evening and Friday morning last week.

The South Coast incidents included the robbery of a Braamfontein mother and her five-year-old son in the Cutty Sark Hotel. Five hours later a gang allegedly woke up a 30-year old woman at the Blue Marlin Hotel and robbed her, and one suspect raped her. They demanded cash, cellphones and bank cards. The hotels are just two kilometres apart.

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