The Provincial Commissioner of police in Limpopo, Lieutenant General Thembi Hadebe, has issued a stern warning to perpetrators of Gender-based Violence and has ordered the police to be relentless in tracing all those involved in the alleged kidnapping and rape of a 19-year-old learner at Mphephu in Vhembe district on Thursday 23 November 2023.
Preliminary investigation indicates that the victim, who is high school learner and staying at a rented house, was on her way to Makhado town to buy groceries when a grey VW Polo with four male occupants suddenly stopped next to her. The driver then grabbed the victim, covered her mouth and forced her into the vehicle.
The driver then dropped off the other occupants and remained with the victim and proceeded to a certain place where he locked the victim inside a room and raped her. The following day the suspect drove with the victim to another house where she was raped by another man and was kept at the place until the following day (third day). The third suspect, who is an elderly man, also raped her at knifepoint.
After the three-day ordeal, the suspects dropped the victim at the local sports ground and fled the scene.
The police have since opened three counts of rape and kidnapping. The case has been transferred to the Makhado Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences Unit for further investigation.
“It is extremely sad and concerning that such a heinous and violent crime takes place right at the start of the 16 Days of Activism for no violence against Women and Children campaign,” said Lieutenant General Hadebe.
“We as a society have a responsibility to protect our most vulnerable members of society from all forms of abuse. The time has come to rid our societies of toxic masculinities that endanger women and children. The investigating team must leave no stone unturned until the perpetrators are apprehended to face the full might of law,” she concluded.
Members of the community can provide information relating to the incident by contacting Makhado FCS Unit on 082 319 9650 at 015 519 4300 or Crime Stop number 08600 10111.