Mpumalanga rape, robbery suspect abandons bail application

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A rape and robbery suspect from eSwatini has abandoned his bail application at a Mpumalanga court. 23-year-old Mxolisi Mthombeni appeared before the Matsulu periodical court earlier on Monday.

Mthombeni’s legal representative told the court his client fears for his life.

The community of Matsulu gathered outside the local periodical court where demonstrators demanded that the suspect be denied bail. Mthombeni was arrested a week ago for being in the country illegally.

Upon further investigation, police found that he is also a suspect in multiple rape and robbery cases. He was charged with three counts of rape and robbery. He allegedly lured women into South Africa by promising them employment. It is alleged that he raped and robbed them of their belongings.

“We are protesting because now they found the criminal that was busy raping our sisters in the community. So, now we are here to show that we don’t want mercy for this criminal. We have been trying to make investigations, assisting the police. Now, at last they found the perpetrator,” says a resident.

“We are here facing another pandemic whereby a criminal has been torturing and raping our community and we heard that this guy is from Swaziland by nationality. So, we are here to barricade and tell the court that it must not grant him bail. If it grants him bail we will take the law into our own hands,” says another resident.

Police allege that Mthombeni befriended his victims on social media and offered them employment opportunities between April and August this year. He allegedly invited the victims to come visit him in Matsulu or Kaapmuiden near Malalane where the women were raped and robbed of their belongings.

Mpumalanga Police Spokesperson Donald Mdhuli says they welcome the suspect’s decision to abandon bail.

“As the SAPS, we are very happy with what has turned out today where the suspect decided to abandoned bail. This will give us ample time to further our investigations making sure that when that day comes we are ready with everything,” says Mdhuli.