Rhodes Park a no-go after dark, officials warn after rape, murders

2015-10-19 07:16
The storm water drain through which the suspects are thought to have escaped. (Photo supplied by Jack Bloom)

The storm water drain through which the suspects are thought to have escaped. (Photo supplied by Jack Bloom)

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Johannesburg - Rhodes Park in Johannesburg should be a no-go area after dark, a local MPL has warned.

DA Gauteng MPL Jack Bloom said the area was known to be a hotspot for muggings and petty crimes at night.

"But what happened on Saturday is simply horrific. It’s nightmarish," he said.

Police have launched a manhunt for 12 suspects who killed two men, aged 25 and 32, and raped a woman at the park just before 19:00, police spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Lungelo Dlamini said.

"Apparently two men and their wives, aged 28 and 29, were walking at the park when they were confronted by the group. One of the suspects was armed with a handgun," he said.

"The suspects tied up both men and threw them into the dam at the park. One of their wives was raped and the other managed to escape."

By the time police arrived, the gang had fled. Police divers recovered the bodies of both men. No arrests had been made.

Two years ago, a woman walking in the street adjacent to the park was dragged into the facility and raped, Bloom said.

The area was badly lit as cable thieves had stolen copper cable and light fittings, he said. Repairing the damage was a waste of money as the culprits returned and removed it again.

"While the park is popular with locals who walk their dogs and have some outdoor fun at the facility, it’s best to steer clear after 18:00," he advised.

"Most residents know that the gates close at 18:00. But the victims I understand are from out of town. They were attacked as they were leaving."

Johannesburg City Parks spokesperson Jenny Moodley said the gates were not locked after closing time. Consideration was being given to permanently employ guards in the city's parks, she said.

Read more on:    johannesburg  |  crime

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