Cops seek witnesses to assist in probes

POLICE in Newcastle in northern KwaZulu-Natal are appealing to witnesses to recent rapes and murders in the area to help them in their investigations.

In the past weeks two women were raped and two people murdered.

Police said a 23-year-old woman was repeatedly raped by two men after they stole her cellphone and ordered her to collect it from the home of one of the suspects.

Police spokesperson Shooz Magudulela said the woman was raped when she went to the house to collect the phone.

"We have not yet arrested anyone but we are on the heels of the suspects and investigations are continuing," he said.

He said in the second incident a 48-year-old woman was raped behind the St Dominic's School.

The incident happened after she got on a minibus taxi.

Magudulela said the victim was driven to an open veld behind the school where she was raped in the taxi.

"The suspect left the victim and fled. The woman is traumatised and cannot identify the vehicle.

"But investigations into the case are continuing," he said.

He said in another incident, a woman died in hospital after she was stabbed in her house.

The attacker had broken into the woman's house and stabbed her.

A suspect was arrested and had already appeared in court on Monday.

Police are also looking for suspects in the killing of Bheki Shabalala at Ikhwezi Valley.

Shabalala was reportedly sitting in the car with another man's girlfriend when he was attacked.

"The woman's boyfriend allegedly opened fire on Shabalala with a pistol, fatally wounding him and seriously hurting his girlfriend. The suspect is still at large."

Anyone with information about the suspects can contact Superintendent Thembinkosi Mntambo on 034-329-6615.