Riot Hlatshwayo

Riot Hlatshwayo

An Mpumalanga woman is in a coma after she was kidnapped from her home and severely assaulted and raped in the early hours of Saturday morning.

Police said details are sketchy at this stage but that the 20-year-old woman's neighbours reported the matter to them.

Neighbours noticed the doors and gates to the young woman's house at Daantjie Trust near Nelspruit had been broken and were standing ajar. When they went to her house she was not there. They called the police.

"The neighbours called the woman's name and when she didn't respond they called us to the scene on Saturday morning," said Mpumalanga police spokesman Superintendent Abie Khoabane yesterday.

The police searched the house and the surrounding area, but did not make any significant finds.

A member of the community then found the woman lying severely injured in the nearby bushes.

"She was unconscious when she was found not far from the house," Khoabane said.

"She was half naked and there were signs that she had been raped and assaulted.

"We believe she was kidnapped from her home."

The police called an ambulance and the woman was admitted to a local hospital, where she is reportedly in a coma in the hospital's intensive care unit.

The incident took place in an area known for crime ranging from rape, murder, burglary and hijacking to petty theft.

President Thabo Mbeki once declared the area to be the 14th worst crime spot in the country. This resulted in the president declaring the local police station, Ka-Nyamazane, a presidential lead project.

The station was given more resources to deal with escalating crime in the area.

No arrests have been made in connection with the attack.