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Citizen’s arrest ends crime spree

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A young man connected to a spate of violent crime in Bloemfontein is remanded in custody while investigation continues to bring him to book.

Sanele Zweni (24) faces charges ranging from rape to the possession of an illegal firearm, armed robbery, attempted murder and robbery.

According to Lt Col Thabo Covane, Free State police spokesperson in the Mangaung Metro, Zweni had been arrested regarding the alleged rape of a 14-year-old girl at gunpoint on Christmas Day.

He allegedly raped the victim in a shack dwelling in the Shuping informal settlement, Batho.

Covane said preliminary investigations also linked Zweni to the armed robbery of a truck driver on 15 December and the shooting of one of two victims during a robbery on 23 December.

He said the suspect, together with his accomplice, had taken an undisclosed amount of money during the robbery of the truck driver at gunpoint in Matlala Street, Batho.

During the robbery of two persons in another incident, he allegedly shot one victim in the chest and fled. Covane said the robbery had occurred in African Street in Batho at about 02:00, and the suspect had robbed the victims of their cellphones.

Zweni briefly appeared in the Bloemfontein Magistrate’s Court on 3 January regarding the alleged rape of the teenager.

Covane said the suspect had allegedly threatened the girl with a firearm.

“Members of the community who had been alerted of the rape spotted the suspect walking into one of the yards, and they quickly cornered him.

“They informed the police that they arrested Zweni on 31 December,” he said.

Covane said the police had discovered a Girsan 9 mm Parabellum pistol with an empty magazine in the suspect’s shack.

According to Covane, Zweni is remanded in custody while investigations in other cases against him continue.

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