Rape and burglary biggest issues during festive season

The festive season is known as a time where many people flock to the shops to do their Christmas shopping. This is, unfortunately, also the case for criminals.
During this period, criminals, especially in Potchefstroom, use the opportunity to break into mostly unoccupied student accommodation.
According to Christiaan Haefele, the operational manager of Mooirivier Beskerming, the number of burglary and theft cases they attended to had increased from the previous year.
According to the security company’s statistics, 46 burglaries and 34 theft cases were reported during December. Haefele emphasises that these are only the ones that Mooirivier Beskerming was involved with.
Capt. Mvula Chaka, the police spokesperson, was happy to report that no serious crimes were reported during the festive season.
‘There were no cases of murder, house robbery or rape in Potchefstroom during this period,’ he said.
According to him, several people were arrested during the festive season for having drugs in their possession.
In Ikageng, where rape was one of the bigger crime contributors, the picture is somewhat different.
According to the Thutuzela Rape Crisis Centre at Potchefstroom Hospital, a total of 42 victims had arrived at their doorstep in the first 19 days of December alone. It is likely that there were other cases that were not reported, however.
The day before the New Year, seven men took turns in raping a 27-year-old woman in Ext. 11. According to WO Ishmael Mohutsiwa, the Ikageng SAPS spokesperson, the woman encountered the men on her way home at 04:00 on 31 December.
‘They then took her to an abandoned house where they raped her,’ he said.
On 30 December, a man armed with a knife and a pair of scissors led a 50-year-old woman from a passage near Tshupane Primary School to a nearby hill where he raped her, Mohutsiwa continued.
On 29 December, two incidents of rape took place in Greenfield and Ikageng.
‘At about 19:15, a 35-year-old woman was walking on the street in Greenfield when two men grabbed her and took her to a shack where one of the men raped her.
‘At 03:00, a man wearing a Balaclava threatened a 33-year-old woman with a screwdriver in Sepotokele Street in Ikageng.
‘He took her to a house where he raped her and robbed her of a cell phone, cosmetics and wallet,’ he said.

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