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Fri Aug 26 07:08:14 CAT 2016

UCT lauds police for arrest of Rhodes Memorial rape suspect

TMG Digital | 12 March, 2016 13:20
WRIT LARGE: Rhodes Memorial on Devil's Peak near the University of Cape Town.
Image by: ESA ALEXANDER

The University of Cape Town has lauded police for the arrest of a man suspected to be behind a series of rape attacks in the vicinity of the Rhodes Memorial.

Police said the 35-year-old suspect had been arrested in the early hours of Saturday after an intelligence-driven operation had led police to a hide-out on the slopes of Table Mountain below Rhodes Memorial.

Western Cape police spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Andre Traut said the man was arrested on a charge of rape which he had allegedly perpetrated on November 19 last year‚ during which a 23-year-old female was raped at the bottom of Rhodes Memorial and robbed of her personal belongings.

“Detectives assigned to the case identified a possible suspect and a warrant for his arrest was obtained. The possibility that the same suspect‚ who is due in Wynberg court on Monday‚ could be linked to similar cases in the same area is now part of our investigation‚” Lt Col Traut said.

The man’s arrest comes just days after the University of Cape Town offered a R100‚000 reward for any information that could lead to the arrest of a rapist who has attacked several students.

UCT on Saturday congratulated police for their dedicated efforts to catch the suspect.

“This matter is now in the hands of the justice system and due process must be followed‚” the university said in a brief statement‚ adding that it would assist the police in any way it could.

On Thursday‚ another UCT student was brutally attacked‚ assaulted and raped off campus.

The 28-year-old student was running along the bicycle path near the Princess Anne Drive bridge in Newlands when a man threatened her with a knife‚ UCT's Gerda Kruger said.

She was severely assaulted and forced into the bushes.

"The man held her captive for some hours and raped her. The man later forced her to walk to a garage‚ where she was able to break free. Staff helped her to phone the police."

The university said it could not be certain‚ but it seemed as though the attack was similar to three previous ones near Rhodes Memorial‚ and that the assailant might be the same person.

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