Taxi driver ar­rested for sex­ual as­sault of girls

The Herald (South Africa) - - NEWS - Gareth Wil­son wilsong@ti­soblack­

A PORT El­iz­a­beth jikeleza (area-spe­cific taxi) driver has been ar­rested for al­legedly rap­ing three school­girls lured into his taxi un­der the pre­tence of giv­ing them a lift.

Ac­cord­ing to po­lice, the three cases took place separately in the Kwaza­khele area be­tween Au­gust 17 and Au­gust 29.

The 24-year-old driver was ar­rested two weeks ago and ap­peared in the Mother­well Mag­is­trate’s Court on Wed­nes­day. He can only be iden­ti­fied once he pleads in court.

Po­lice spokesman Cap­tain An­dre Beetge said the man was a con­tract driver for the owner of a red Toy­ota Corolla that he op­er­ated mainly in the Kwaza­khele area.

“The girls were taken to the bushes in the Mark­man town­ship area, where he al­legedly raped them,” he said.

The first re­ported case hap­pened on Au­gust 17 when a 15-year-old girl was picked up at 3pm.

An­other in­ci­dent was re­ported on Au­gust 25 when an­other 15-year-old was picked up at 2.30pm.

The last known at­tack hap­pened on Au­gust 29, when a 17-year-old was picked up while walk­ing to school at about 8am.

“In all th­ese cases, the vic­tims gave the same de­scrip­tion of the driver and the taxi used,” Beetge said.

He said in all the cases the girls had been dropped off in a street near to their homes af­ter the al­leged rape.

The po­lice’s Mother­well Fam­ily Vi­o­lence, Child Pro­tec­tion and Sex­ual Of­fences (FCS) unit tracked down the ve­hi­cle and a tracker in­side the ve­hi­cle al­legedly linked the sus­pect to all three rapes.

Beetge said it was sus­pected that more girls might have fallen vic­tim to the al­leged rapist.

The case was post­poned to Septem­ber 20 for a for­mal bail ap­pli­ca­tion.

The man will re­main in cus­tody un­til then.

Any­one who has been the vic­tim of a sim­i­lar at­tack should contact Cap­tain Michael Shan­a­gen on 082779-7292.

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