JOHANNESBURG. – A 30-year-old rape suspect masquerading as a pastor, who allegedly lured his victims through social media, has been arrested, police said on Sunday.
Police spokesperson Col Adéle Myburgh said the man befriended his first victim, a 27-year-old woman, through Facebook and they later started communicating on Whatsapp.
The victim agreed to meet the suspect on May 30 at a grocery store in Klerksdorp.
“The suspect who pretended to be a pastor, met with the victim as agreed and ultimately took her to an open field behind the Technical High School.
“The victim was eventually threatened with a knife, raped and robbed of her personal belongings,” Myburg said.
In a separate incident in Ventersdorp last year, a 29-year-old woman also met the man through Facebook and arranged to meet at Boikhutso Village in November 2019.
“Subsequently, the suspect allegedly took the victim to an open field where he threatened her with a knife and raped her. He also robbed the victim of her personal belongings.”
Myburg said the Klerksdorp Family Violence Child protection and Sexual Offences (FCS) Unit traced the suspect and arrested him on June 19.
“Investigation into the matter continues and the police cannot rule out the possibility of linking the suspect to other cases.”
Provincial police commissioner Lt-Gen Sello Kwena praised the team for the swift arrest.
Kwena also urged the public to exercise “extreme caution” when meeting with people they befriend on social media.