KwaZulu-Natal police have issued a strong warning to women and young girls not to wander around alone at night.
This comes after two 18-year-old girls were raped on their way to visit family.
The incident, which has left the girls traumatised, happened on Sunday at about 7pm in Welbedacht, Chatsworth.
The victims were walking near a bridge in the area when two suspects suddenly emerged from the bushes. The girls were assaulted and forced into the bushes, where the suspects repeatedly raped them.
Police spokesperson Daniela Veldhuizen yesterday confirmed the incident and said police had launched a manhunt for the suspects.
"The girls said they did not know the men, she said they are still traumatised and the police are investigating two cases of rape. "We appeal for assistance from the public so we can apprehend the suspects.
To prevent rapes and other sexual offences, Veldhuizen offered the following safety hints:
l Be wary of strangers loitering around or following you;
l Plan your route and avoid dark and deserted areas;
l If you suspect that someone is following you, enter the nearest occupied building or shop and ask for assistance;
l Avoid accepting lifts from strangers. If molested while in the lift, try to attract attention from anyone nearby;
l Do not fill up your car alone at night at a deserted petrol station;
l When waiting for a bus or taxi, stand close to other people. If the bus is empty or partially empty, sit as far forward and close to the driver as possible. On arriving take notice of the people who alight with you; and
l Don't fall for excuses of strangers wanting to use your toilet or phone. Offer to make the call yourself and let the person wait outside the locked door.