Update on arrest of serial killer hiding out in St Francis Bay
The Minister of Police, Nathi Mthethwa, has commended the all the SAP teams, including those from St Francis Bay, for their arrest of a serial rape suspect who committed various murder and rape crimes around the Tongaat area, in KwaZulu-Natal.
The 36 year-old man was arrested in St Francis Bay where he was hiding out in the early hours of 21 July 2013. Mthethwa also prasied the SAP members for their ‘never give up spirit’ in pursuit of a criminal.
Over the past few months there were five murder cases of women investigated, in which each woman was lured by a particular suspect, who promised them job opportunities. The victims were then raped and murdered around the bushes in the Tongaat area in KwaZulu-Natal.
Bank cards and cellphones belonging to the victims were allegedly found on the suspect who is linked to all five murders. He allegedly met women on FaceBook and offered them jobs but they disappeared after meeting up with him.
The charred remains of the women were found in sugar cane fields around Tongaat. The women had been raped , strangled and it is alleged they were tortured before revealing their pin numbers for their accounts that were later cleaned out.
As the investigation continued, a girl who was an accomplice to the prime suspect was arrested last month and the the prime suspect was then on the run. On 21 July police investigators narrowed down the search to Port Elizabeth. But the suspect was a few steps ahead of them
Acting on a tip off, Port Elizabeth police went to Jeffreys Bay where the suspect was expected to get off a bus. Police found no sign of him when they reached the bus station but learned he had gone to St Francis Bay.
Not knowing the area the PE police enlisted the help of Captain Kiviet and other members of the St Francis Bay police service. The team scoured the area but could find no sign of the suspect. They then learned of a man living in the area who had a certain surname and he was thought to be the suspect’s brother.
The team then held a stake out outside five houses before raiding one. But the suspect was not there. A sceond house raided found the culprit inside alone. He was arrested at 3 am.
The investigating team has already taken various samples from the victims’ bodies and these have been transmitted to SAPS forensics for further verification. The investigation continues and the suspect was expected to appear at the Verulam Magistrate Court today, 23 July.
“As the police leadership we want to commend our police officers who worked tirelessly over the past months. Their ‘never give up spirit’ led to this arrest, Mthethwa says.
“The arrest further testimony of what we have been emphasising that, through integrated approach of working together as different units within South African Police Service (SAPS), we shall ensure that those who commit crimes are apprehended. Through specialised investigations police will be able to move beyond arresting such perpetrators but move towards securing harshest sentences.
“As government we remain resolute in ensuring that perpetrators of crimes against women, children and the elderly are heavily punished. That is why in 2009, I instructed that we re-establish the Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences units, to specifically investigate such crimes.
“To date since its re-launching this unit has trained specialised police officers and to deal with crimes such as rape. In addition, we continue to prioritise capacitating of detectives so that we can ensure that we secure harsher convictions in courts,” added the Minister.
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