- A man is in custody after he was arrested in connection with using social media to lure two women to his home, where they were allegedly raped.
- The victims were aged 15 and 22.
- Police were also able to link him to the murder of a woman whose lifeless body was discovered dumped under a bridge in May.
A 29-year-old man has been remanded in custody after he used social media to lure two women to his home, where he allegedly raped them.
The victims - aged 15 and 22 - were allegedly raped by the same man on separate occasions at Vezubuhle near Kwamhlanga, Mpumalanga, on 21 and 26 June 2020 respectively.
"The investigation has revealed that the suspect would lure his victims on social media platforms by sending friend requests and once they befriend him, he would then constantly chat with them for a few days before inviting them to his place," spokesperson Brigadier Leonard Hlathi said in a statement on Tuesday.
The first victim was allegedly asked by the man to accompany him to an event, as a date.
"When she went to his place, he welcomed her politely and invited her to his room. As soon as she entered, he allegedly took out a firearm and instructed her to undress, assaulted her and then raped her.
"This matter was reported to the police, who opened a case of rape," Hlathi explained.
The second victim allegedly experienced a similar ordeal.
Police concluded that they were dealing with an alleged serial rapist, who was using allegedly social media to prey on his victims. They followed leads and pounced on the man at his place of residence.
Police were also able to link the 29-year-old man to an unresolved murder, which occurred in May 2020.
"On that day, a lifeless body of 28-year-old Nonhlanhla Happy Maseko was discovered dumped under the bridge on the R573 road at Vezubuhle, near Kwamhlanga.
"At the time when the body was discovered, the suspect was unknown. However, the investigation has now uncovered that the suspect on the murder of Maseko is the same [suspect] who allegedly raped the two victims," Hlathi explained.
The provincial commissioner of SAPS in Mpumalanga, Lieutenant-General Mondli Zuma, applauded the police for the sterling work done.
"We are very happy with the good work done by the members, who did not leave any stone unturned. This arrest shows that SAPS is very serious in dealing with the scourge of gender-based violence, and our systems as government are ready to ensure that justice is served for scores of women who have been victimised by men," he said.
The man is due back in the Kwamhlanga Magistrate's Court on 13 July for a formal bail application.