Members of Reaction Unit South Africa (RUSA) tracked and arrested a 34 year old male near Dundee in KwaZulu Natal for the rape of his 12 year old neighbor. The suspect and the primary school female who both reside in Cornubia were initially reported missing to the RUSA Operations Center on 1 September 2020. According to the victims mother, the girl left for school at 06:50am on the same day and was seen by a family member in Isipingo with her nieghbour.
When her mother was contacted, it was then discovered that her clothes and personal items were missing. The mother then approached the suspects wife who realized that her husbands clothing and bag were also missing. Their homes are approx. 30 meters apart on a dead end road. According to the suspect’s wife, she believed that her husband was in a sexual relationship with the minor and reported her suspicion to the females family. She added that they had rubbished her story and failed to act believing that an affair with a 22 year age gap was not possible.
The suspect and his wife have four children together. The siblings are aged between one month and seven years old and are friends with the victim.
Reaction Officers circulated the duo as missing persons and received information at approx. 22:00 on the same day of a sighting in Richards Bay in Northern Kwazulu Natal. Reaction Officers were immediately mobilized and travelled 156 kilometers to a provided location. The man and the girl were located at a home in Corrania Corner in Brakenham. They were found in the company of the suspect’s extended family. Officers then transported them back to Cornubia and re-united the child with her family at approx. 03:00am on her 13th Birthday. The 34 year old male was released after the child explained to her family and Law Enforcement Officers that the nieghbour had not touched her and that she had not engaged in any sexual activity with him. She further added that the nieghbour shared a brother/sister relationship and they had absconded to celebrate her 13th birthday with him after suffering verbal abuse at home.
Reaction Officers and the South African Police Service were called out to the home at 04:00 am on the same morning after the child confided in her family and informed them that she had been raped at the residence in Brakenham – Richards Bay. She further informed her family that she had engaged in sexual activity with the suspect at her residence prior to them absconding. A criminal case of Statutory Rape and Kidnapping was opened and the child was sent for medical examination to a Government Hospital.
The medical report confirmed that the 12 year old child had been penetrated. The case was handed over to the SAPS Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences Investigations Unit (FCS) who contacted RUSA to assist in locating the suspect. It was then established that the suspect abandoned his family and fled his home upon hearing that the child was at the Hospital receiving a medical examination.
The suspect evaded arrest for 27 days and was eventually tracked by RUSA Officers to a farm on the R621 near Hatting spruit in Dundee.
On the morning of 29 September 2020, officers travelled 362kms and kept observation on a premises for several hours. At approx. 14:07 the suspect was spotted inside a tavern/tuck-shop serving customers through a hatch. Officers converged on the building and restrained him through the hatch to prevent him from fleeing while Reaction Officers entered the premises and arrested him without incident.
During an interview with Officers, the suspect confirmed that he had sexual intercourse with the child on four occasions. He added that he was in possession of several WhatsApp messages from the child requesting him to visit when she was home alone. The suspect also informed Officers that the girl had called him daily on his mobile phone and on one occasion she had missed called him approx. one hundred times.
He fled Durban when he realized he was being sought and arrived at home of his 70 year old uncle in Dundee seeking shelter and employment.
The suspect was handed over to SAPS Hatting spruit and charged accordingly.
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