Nelspruit cemetery a ‘rape hotspot’

FILE PIC: A rape hot spot warning sign. Picture: Neil McCartney

Increased security measures are needed following reports of high incidents of rape in cemeteries in the Pienaar township in Mpumalanga, residents said.

However, police in the area have said they were not aware of the cemeteries being alleged rape hotspots. Police spokesperson Lieutenant Jabu Ndubane said officers were aware of rapists targeting women at cemeteries, but not in the Pienaar area.

“We only know about KaNyamazane’s cemetery, as most rape incidents took place there. We discovered that it was a hotspot for rape, and our team had since started to patrol the area,” Ndubane said.

She added rapists usually targeted women who were returning from work late at night.

One of the alleged victims told Mpumalanga News she was once approached by two men in a white bakkie and offered a lift after a party. She was then reportedly assaulted and taken to the cemetery, where she was allegedly raped. She said she suspected the perpetrators had attacked other women because they were allegedly carrying a box of condoms in the car.

Another police spokesperson, Constable Tutu Nkosi, said no one had come forward to report a case that occurred at the cemetery.

“We are going to pay more attention to this matter since it has been raised. We are going to do our best to arrest those people,” Nkosi said.

In January, it was reported two balaclava-clad men took turns raping a 15-year-old girl in the Eastbank Cemetery near Jukskei Park, Alexandra, in Johannesburg.

Police said the victim had been walking close to the cemetery, with two other people when they were approached by the two men. The men were said to have produced a firearm and ordered the three to come with them to a secluded area of the cemetery, where one of the girls was allegedly raped. No arrests were made.

– Caxton News Service

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