BY SILISIWE MABALEKA
VILLAGERS in Esigodini have complained over alleged police failure to deal with a rapist and robber terrorising the area.
The assailant is believed to be an ex-convict who was recently released from jail, but never returned to his home, and reportedly went to live in the bush from where he is now terrorising the community.
Villagers say women were his main targets.
“A woman from Habane in Esigodini was captured by an ex-convict only identified as Thulasizwe, who stays in the hills. He kidnapped the woman while she was looking for firewood with her friend and held her hostage for three to four days. On that same day another woman escaped a kidnapping attempt at eSikhoveni,” one of the villagers, who refused to be identified, told Southern Eye.
“There are many cases of women being robbed of their cell phones and money. What saddens us is that reporting to the police is a waste of time. Getting robbed has become the norm and people have now lost their trust in the police.”
He said when they reported the matter; police did not visit the village to investigate.
A 26-year-old woman who was raped by the suspect said the villagers went on a manhunt to try to capture the perpetrator, but he escaped.
“Thulasizwe kidnapped me last Tuesday and I also managed to escape his grip last Friday that same week. The man is said to have committed three murder cases and three rape cases. Rumours say he was once in jail. He is robbing people, especially women,” she said.
Matebeleland South police spokesperson Loveness Mangena said they were investigating a case of an unknown accused person who raped a woman from Habane in Esigodini.
“We are on a manhunt for an accused person who raped a woman. The complainant said she doesn’t know the name of the person,” Mangena said.
Police appealed to the members of the public to help with relevant information that may lead to the arrest of the unknown assailant.
She said the villagers were speculating that the crimes were being committed by ex-convict Thulasizwe.