Ricochet News

Eastern Cape 'Facebook rapist-murderer' and girlfriend appear in court

Nov 6, 2017
Eastern Cape 'Facebook rapist-murderer' and girlfriend appear in court

The case against a 28-year-old man and his 21-year-old girlfriend, who were arrested by police at Ncameni location and Ngcothi location respectively, in connection with rape and killing of women, whom he lured on Facebook, was postponed in the Mthatha Magistrates’ Court where the duo appeared on Monday.

They are now expected back in the same on 13 November.

In an intelligence driven operation conducted by SAPS Provincial Organised Crime members, assisted by the Mthatha Crime Intelligence and a Provincial Hawks team members, the two suspects were arrested between 16:00 on Friday and 07:00 on Saturday.

"It is alleged that the suspect invited women on Facebook posting a fake profile and picture. He will then arrange to meet his victims in Qumbu sending them transport money via money market from two major retail outlets," described police spokesperson, Capt Khaya Tonjeni.

"Once the victim arrives in Qumbu he will make an excuse that he is busy and that he will send someone else to fetch her. However, the suspect himself will pitch up pretending to be the other person and will thereafter lure his victims to Ngcalukeni fields where he will rape and sometimes killed the women."

Capt Tonjeni said that it is further alleged that the women were strangled with fishing rope and stripped off their clothing.

"Seven cases - three of murder and four of rape, were opened at SAPS Qumbu. The victims were from Alice, Duncan Village, Mthatha, Tabankulu and Mount Fletcher," he added.

During the operation, the team recovered cell phones belonging to the victims as well as SIM cards, bags, and clothing from the suspect’s and his girlfriend’s house.

An estimated value of the recovered items is R50 000.

The male suspect will appear on charges of murder and rape while his girlfriend will face charges of possession of suspected stolen property.

The Provincial Commissioner for the Eastern Cape, Lt Gen Liziwe Ntshinga reiterated that fighting crimes against women and children is one of the priorities of the SAPS and every effort is made to bring perpetrators to book.

Lt Gen Ntshinga has commended the team on the arrests and warned criminals who lure unsuspecting victims through social media that, "We are already monitoring them through our experts in the cyber space and there is no space for them in this Province.

"Callous and cruel attacks on women and children will not be tolerated and we urge communities to work closely with the police in order to break the cycle of gender based violence. The SAPS has the responsibility to protect the vulnerable in society and these responsibilities are taken seriously through effective arrests, thorough investigations and successful prosecutions".