MATOPO villagers are living in fear of a rapist who has been terrorising and raping women in the area in the past three weeks.
The suspect, identified as Nqabutho, is still at large, and villagers in Matopo are appealing for police to intervene and help them deal with the problem.
The headman of Ntunjambili, Themba Ndhlovu, said women were afraid of this criminal, and walked in large numbers for safety.
“It’s been three weeks, and we have tried in vain to locate the rapist. The community is mapping out strategies to apprehend the criminal.
“The women and young girls have to walk in large groups when going to school. People are now forced to walk home early from social gatherings,” he said.
The headman said they had reported the matter to the police, but they had not apprehended the criminal.
“We reported the matter at Matopo Ntunjambili base. The matter is still under police investigation, and the police and the community cannot locate this criminal,” he said.
Villagers said the area was no longer safe for women and children.
“Last Friday, this criminal chased school kids who were on their way to Silobini Secondary School. It’s no longer safe for them now as they have to go to school in groups. We are now scared of sending them to the shops on their own,” said Nomthandazo Nkomo.
They said women who stay alone were at a greater risk as they were the targets.
“This criminal has raped two people with two others escaping from him. I am worried about women who stay alone and have no security because they are targets,” added Sehlule Siziba.
Countless efforts to reach Matabeleland South police spokesperson Inspector Loveness Mangena for a comment on the case were fruitless.