The South African Police Service have arrested a 31-year-old paroled convict in connection with a string of violent sexual assaults in the Durban area.
The man had been paroled for ‘similar offences’ in 2019 having spent a handful of years in prison for crimes committed in 2010.
It has been alleged that the suspect forcibly entered a Verulam home, finding a pregnant woman in the abode he threatened the victim with a knife before ransacking the home. The man is then said to have raped the pregnant woman and stolen her cellphone.
“On 27 May 2020, Verulam police officers arrested a 31-year-old man for charges of rape, robbery and sexual assault at Cottonlands area in Verulam,” SAPS spokesperson Colonel Thembeka Mbele said on Friday 29 May.SAPS News Room
“It is alleged on 24 May 2020 at 04:00, the suspect entered the house in Verulam where he threatened a pregnant woman with a knife.
“He ransacked the house demanding cellphones and allegedly raped and robbed the victim of her cellphone before fleeing the scene.
“Charges of rape and house robbery were opened for investigation by Verulam SAPS.”
The report of the 24 May attack could help police solve a disturbing rape case from July 2019.
Verulam SAPS detectives believe they can also link the man to the violent rape of an elderly woman in Umdloti, North of Durban in 2019. Further investigation allowed police to link the suspect to yet another attack, that took place earlier this month.
“The preliminary investigation was conducted by the detectives and linked the suspect with another case of rape committed on 30 July 2019 where an elderly woman was repeatedly raped by the same suspect at knifepoint,” Colonel Mbete added.
“The victim was dragged to the Umdloti bushes where she was repeatedly raped. Further police profiling linked him to another sexual assault case committed this month.”
The suspect was scheduled to appear in court on Friday 29 May and remains in police custody.
The decision to relase 19,000 prisoners from South Africa’s correctional facilities has seen the parole board placed under increased scrutiny.
South Africans are understandably concerned about the past failures of the system, and the above case does little to assuage fears that such a large release could lead to a spike in crime and raises questions about the decision to grant the rapist parole.
The 19,000 offenders who are set to be released have to meet strict criteria, but confidence in the correctional system is low.