Arrested men’s link to Gauteng taxi rapes hinges on ID parade‚ MEC says
Sibongile Mashaba | 2017-03-27 17:44:57.0
Minibus Taxi rank.
Image by: SIPHIWE SIBEKO
The Gauteng department of community safety is uncertain whether there is a syndicate operating in Gauteng‚ pouncing on unsuspecting female taxi commuters‚ robbing them and in some instances raping them.
MEC Sizakele Nkosi-Malobane said a team compromising officers from national‚ provincial and local police stations was working on the #taxirape cases.
She said three men who appeared in the Newlands Magistrate’s Court on Monday were not yet linked to any of the nine cases which were reported to the police over the past few weeks.
“For now those guys that are appearing in Newlands… have been positively linked to a robbery case… [with] the same modus operandi which has been used in the #taxirape saga. That is why those guys need to go for the [identity] parade.
“Up until there is an ID parade or a DNA [test] has been done… they [can only] be linked to a robbery case that happened exactly the same way that the women were robbed‚” she said.
Nkosi-Malobane said in total‚ there were six men behind bars for taxi robbery. She said the other three were arrested last month and had assisted the police in arresting the three who appeared in court on Monday.
She said the other three were being held at the Johannesburg Prison.
Nkosi-Malobane said she met with some of the victims on Sunday for a debrief session to check if the services that were supposed to be provided to them had been rendered and whether they were effective.
“Out of the briefing‚ we agreed that we should not only leave them with social workers for counselling. We have to engage a psychiatrist as well as a psychologist to ensure that these women get proper attention… One of the ladies was actually admitted. She had a nervous breakdown and when we interacted with her she was still not okay.
“So we will make sure that all of them get the same treatment and proper medical attention in order to make sure that at least… [they] develop some coping skills. The won’t just forget. We need to assist and work together with them to ensure that they get healed.”
Nkosi-Malobane said a 10-year-old whose mother was raped while he watched in a taxi a week ago was also receiving counselling at the Teddy Bear Clinic.
Turning to the Rhodes Park case‚ the MEC said‚ “It raised a lot of emotions not only for the victims but all of us who were in court. You listen to this thing and how it happened and the stupidity [of] how these guys did it and it really made [me] very emotional”.
“I’m a mother‚ I’m a woman. You could just imagine if it… happens to my daughter or it happens to me. I’m hoping these guys will be sent to prison for a very long time and they never do this to anyone else.”