Riot Hlatshwayo

Riot Hlatshwayo

Mpumalanga police have warned people to be extra careful when hitchhiking because there is a vehicle with rapists targeting both men and women.

At least two men and two women have become victims of the rapists since January.

In the latest incident on Saturday last week a woman in her early 20s was hitchhiking on the Barberton-Kaapsehoop road when she was offered a lift in a white Toyota Venture.

There was a male and two females in the vehicle. They told the hitchhiker to jump in and then mugged her.

"The woman told us that her attackers stopped the vehicle and removed her clothes", said Barberton police spokesman Jabu Ndubane. "They pawed her whole body, including her private parts."

Ndubane said the women sat on garden chairs and watched while their male companions raped the woman on the front seat.

"They took her cellphone and cash before leaving her on the spot," Ndubane said.

"We are concerned because this was the fourth incident to be reported to us in a few months.

"A man was raped at gunpoint by three women in Tonga and another woman was raped in KaNyamazane.

"A man was also raped in Malelane - and now this.

"In all instances the rapists were driving in a vehicle that fits the description of a Venture.

"In the Tonga incident the man tried to resist when the three women tried to have sex with him.

"He even tried to escape but could not get away after being shot in the leg.

"We are subsequently asking members of the community to be very careful.

"Those with information that might help us in our investigation should call the nearest police station."

About three years ago a group of four coloured women driving a BMW asked for directions from a man before taking him to a graveyard where they forced themselves on him at gunpoint.

The women later told their victim: "Welcome to the world of Aids."