Serial Rapist arrested in Thaba Nchu – thanks to DNA samples taken from a previous rape charge that was withdrawn in court after the complainant failed to show up for proceedings.
A man in his mid-30s was arrested in August 2012 after a woman was attacked and knocked unconscious near Ramkraal railway line in Bloemfontein.
The 22-year-old woman was raped and robbed of her cellphone.
Immediately after the incident, a police patrol vehicle drove past the scene and the victim stopped and informed them of her ordeal.
The suspect tried to run away, but the police managed to catch him and recover the victim’s cellphone.
The suspect’s blood was drawn and sent for sampling at the police’s Forensic Science Laboratory and he was positively linked to the crime. The case then went for trial, but was withdrawn after the victim failed to attend court proceedings and the suspect was released.
Recently, the Forensic Science Laboratory in Pretoria informed the police in Bloemfontein that their test results linked the suspect to more cases that had been reported at Bloemspruit, Thaba Nchu and Selosesha police stations.
Some of the cases had already been closed as the suspect was unknown to the victims and he could not be linked to them.
“In almost all the cases, the same modus operandi was used by the rapist as he preyed on the unsuspecting victims who are between the ages of 13 and 22.
“After the rapes, he told the victims to close their eyes and walked away. They were allowed to open their eyes again after he blew a whistle,” police spokesperson Sergeant Thabo Litabe told News24.
The cases were reopened and a new search for the suspect initiated.
He was traced to Thaba Nchu where he was arrested and appeared before the Bloemfontein Magistrate court last Friday.
“Six charges of rape were brought against him, but there could have been more rapes,” said Litabe.
He is due to appear again on Monday.
“The arrest of this man should serve as a deterrent to those who believe that they cannot be traced,” said Lieutenant General Thabethe Mpembe, the provincial commissioner of the Free State.
“It is also important for victims to remember their failure to attend court proceedings results in cases being withdrawn and the suspects released for them to commit more atrocities against innocent people,” Mpembe added.