DNA sample nails taxi 'rapist'

Members of the community, ANC Women's League, law enforcement and taxi officials protest outside the Southgate Shopping Centre in Johannesburg against the rape of women by taxi drivers in March. / Sandile Ndlovu
Members of the community, ANC Women's League, law enforcement and taxi officials protest outside the Southgate Shopping Centre in Johannesburg against the rape of women by taxi drivers in March. / Sandile Ndlovu

DNA has allegedly linked a Soweto taxi driver to the gruesome attack of a Roodepoort, West Rand, mother who was robbed and raped in front of her 10-year-old son.

The incident took place inside a Toyota Quantum in Soweto in March.

According to a police source, the DNA sample has positively linked the Emndeni man to the crime.

"He was initially pointed out by the rape survivor during an identity parade last month, but due to lack of evidence police had to wait for DNA samples, which came back positive two weeks ago," the source said.

"There are also other seven victims who have positively identified him."

The 32-year-old taxi driver, who has been in custody since last month, was ferrying commuters from Soweto to Johannesburg when the incident happened.

Another police source said there were two drivers who drove the same taxi on different occasions. 

"On the day the incident happened, the taxi was driven by the suspect. He was positively linked to at least eight cases of rape, kidnapping and robbery. He was arrested while in his hide-out in Soweto," he said.

Gauteng MEC for community safety Sizakele Nkosi-Malobane yesterday said the suspect is among 13 people arrested for using a similar modus operandi.

"We established that there was more than one gang committing these crimes. The one who raped the Roodepoort mother is linked to eight rape cases, while other suspects are also linked to other cases," she said.

Nkosi-Malobane said the woman and her child were receiving counselling.

"Now that there are developments in the case, we want to encourage her to be strong and she must never miss a single counselling session."

The rape survivor yesterday said she had not been informed of the latest developments in the case.

"I was in the Eastern Cape since September as I went there to bury my father ... I haven't heard about the DNA samples result, but if true I'm very happy. I will do everything to see those cruel men behind bars."

She confirmed she and her child were receiving counselling. The woman boarded the taxi on Ontdekkers Road and was held at gunpoint by three men who allegedly raped her and withdrew money from her bank account several times after they forced her to hand over her ATM card and reveal her PIN.

For four hours, the woman was raped in the back seat of the taxi while her son was forced to watch.

Police spokesman Colonel Lungelo Dlamini said two suspects, who are friends and do not work together, were arrested for the Roodepoort mother's rape case.

The suspect and his co-accused will be appearing in the Roodepoort Magistrate's Court this week.

Dlamini said investigations were continuing to bring the third suspect to book.

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