Police in Newcastle in northern KwaZulu-Natal yesterday stepped up efforts to find a burglary suspect who robbed his victim at gunpoint and then repeatedly raped her.
The 24-year-old woman was attacked in her home in Sunny Ridge.
Police spokesman Captain Shooz Magudulela said the woman opened the door after hearing a knock. A man armed with a gun held her up and entered the house.
"The man demanded a cellphone and cash," Magudulela said. "He then forced the victim into a bedroom and repeatedly raped her."
Before fleeing the man locked the victim in another bedroom and stole a DVD player.
"It appears that the suspect planned the attack and knew that the victim was alone in the house on the day," Magudulela said.
"Her sister, who lives with her, was not there that night."
He said the matter had been referred to a team of serious crimes investigators.
"We are investigating rape and break-in charges. And we are positive that the suspect will be arrested soon," he said.
"Rape is a very serious crime and it is always given priority," he said.
Magudulela confirmed that the rural town had suffered a series of break-ins.
"Break-ins are common in the area," he said. "But many suspects are arrested. The same will happen in this case."
Meanwhile, two of the four suspects who robbed a local petrol station of R75 000 two weeks ago have been arrested, said Magudulela.