Cop in hot water after rape suspect released

Riot Hlatshwayo

Riot Hlatshwayo

An Mpumalanga policeman is likely to face an internal disciplinary investigation after allegations that he arrested and then released a rape suspect without charging him.

The suspect, a 42-year-old owner of a local spaza shop, is alleged to have confessed to having sex with girls as young as 12 and 13.

Parents of the girls who attend school at the Paulos Ngobeni Primary School in KaZitha village, near Acornhoek, called the police when it became evident that the suspect was abusing the young pupils.

The man allegedly took them to the nearby veld, where he raped them.

It is alleged he bribed them with sweets afterwards.

The policeman is alleged to have taken the suspect, one of his alleged victims and a parent of the victim to the police station for questioning. At the police station the man allegedly claimed that he had never raped anyone but had had sex with the young girls because they were his lovers. The girl is alleged to have confirmed a love affair with the suspect when questioned by the police.

She is alleged to have also confirmed that she usually had sex with the suspect after school, and that she was not the only one who was in love with the man.

The man was then allegedly released based on the girl's explanation.

Mopani police spokesman, Superintendent Moatshe Ngoepe, confirmed that an investigation into how the man was arrested and released was in progress.

"We are definitely investigating the circumstances of how the suspect was arrested and released.

"I can also confirm that charges against the suspect have been laid," said Ngoepe.

He could not, however, confirm if the suspect had been rearrested, saying he needed to contact the police station dealing with the case.