Robber linked to rapes

2018-02-28 06:02

One of the five would-be robbers of an attempted robbery on a Reitz farm is linked to six rape cases, as well as a case of house burglary.

Eric Mkhulu Sebatana (35), known as Yoyo, was caught earlier this month after a foiled armed robbery on a farm.

He was arrested with four would-be robbers, Lebohang Mokoena, Pule Moloi, Tankiso Mofokeng (all South Africans) and Masitifa Makawana (from Malawi). All five suspects are still in custody as part of the ongoing investigations.

Capt. Zweli Mohobeleli, spokesperson of the Bethlehem police cluster, said analysis of the investigations into the botched farm robbery linked Sebatana to six pending rape cases and a case of house burglary. He said according to records, the crimes were committed between 2008 and 2016.

“Investigation revealed the rape cases and house burglary were committed in the Bohlokong township,” said Mohobeleli.

Sebatana is set to reappear in the Bethlehem Magistrate’s Court on 28 March regarding the rape cases and house break-in. He appeared briefly in court on Thursday (22/02) regarding these cases. He is set to reappear with his four co-accused in Reitz regarding the foiled farm armed robbery.

Mohobeleli said Sebatana’s arrest for the foiled armed robbery led to the breakthrough into the rape and house burglary cases.

“Sebatana had been evading arrest, switching between towns and altering his identity regularly. But DNA results positively linked him to the others cases,” said Mohobeleli. He said the suspect had threatened his victims with a knife and thereafter raped them.

Following Sebatana’s modus operandi, Mohobeleli said Sebatana was classified as a serial rapist. He said one of his victims include a teenager, who was 14 years old in 2012. He said the first victim, a 27-year-old woman, was raped on 10 December 2008.

“The victim was waiting for her boyfriend at his home when the suspect dragged and raped her,” said Mohobeleli.

The second victim, an 18-year-old woman, was raped on the evening of 8 October 2010 in an open veld near the Vuka cemetery.

“The victim was heading home when she was threatened with a knife and raped. Another victim, a 14-year-old teenage girl, was asleep on 11 February 2012 when she suddenly felt a man next to her. He had entered through a broken window before slipping into her bed and raped her,” said Mohobeleli.

He said the fourth victim, who was 18 years old in 2012, was raped in the early hours on 29 April.

“She and a group of friends had been accosted by two gun-wielding men. After scattering in different directions to evade the attack, she hid at one of the houses where the suspect found her and raped her,” he said.

Mohobeleli said the fifth victim, who was 20 years old in 2014, was raped on 22 October at about 19:30.

“She was walking home from church when the suspect threatened her with a knife and raped her,” he said. The sixth victim, who was 35 years old in 2016, was reportedly raped on 5 June.

Mohobeleli said the victim was walking home after a night out at a local tavern when she was tripped and raped.

Mohobeledi said Sebatana was also linked to a burglary on 12 February 2012 where items to the value of R6 000 were stolen.

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