A woman allegedly held hostage by a rapist is at the centre of unrest which erupted in Witbank this week, leading to the torching of several houses and looting of a bottle store in the city centre.
According to police, a Johannesburg woman claimed to have escaped the clutches of a man who lured her to Witbank with the promise of a job, only to hold her hostage since Sunday.
“It is believed that the victim came all the way from Joburg for a job interview, and after meeting up with the ‘employer’, he forced her into the house where he allegedly raped her numerous times before locking her up,” Capt Eddie Hall said in a statement.
“She managed to escape on Monday night and fled to the taxi rank in the CBD pleading to the taxi drivers to take her back to Johannesburg.
“The members of the taxi association insisted that she should tell them why she is so hysterical. It was only after she had told the taxi association about her ordeal that they decided to take action,” said Hall.
The woman led the taxi drivers to the house where she had allegedly been kept.
“[She] pointed out the man who had done all of these bad things to her. At this point, the members of the taxi association started to assault the [man],” said Hall.
The suspect’s brother was also at the house.
“After assaulting the suspected rapist, they turned to his brother and told him what the alleged rapist had done. It is believed that the brother then pointed a firearm at the members of the taxi association – and all hell broke loose,” said Hall.
This man was also beaten by the mob of taxi drivers.
Following this incident, the mob went on a manhunt, attacking several houses believed to belong to drug lords in the area.
They torched two of the houses and assaulted several people found on those properties.
“Several” people were admitted to Witbank Provincial Hospital for injuries sustained during the assaults on them.
“The police are expecting to make arrests very soon as we are following up positive information on the public violence,” Hall said.
Amid the chaos, a bottle store was also looted.
“Cases of robbery, arson, public violence and malicious damage to property were opened against all the suspects involved in the crimes,” said Hall.
“The victim went to open a case of rape against the suspected rapist, and although he is in Witbank Provincial Hospital in critical condition, he will be charged,” Hall added.
Meanwhile, police cluster commander Gen Wilson Kekana reprimanded the taximen who took the law into their own hands.
“Let the law take its course,” Kekana said.
Watch: Teddy Mafia’s son-in-law targeted in Shallcross drive-by shooting
Kesavan Isaac Naidoo, the son-in-law of slain alleged Durban drug boss “Teddy Mafia” has survived a brazen attempted assassination on Wednesday, his family confirmed.
The incident took place at about 10am in Shallcross, south of Durban.
Naidoo, 41, is the son-in-law of Yaganathan Pillay – also known as Teddy Mafia.
He was shot twice in a daylight hit on Table Mountain Drive. The incident was captured on CCTV.
“Isaac was shot in both legs and his driver was shot in the hand. Both of them survived. They’re in hospital,” he said.
Pillay said Naidoo was in the back seat while his wife was in the front. The shooting, seen in the footage, takes place moments after they open the doors of their vehicle to get out.
In the footage, a white vehicle can be seen driving along Table Mountain Drive before it is stopped, partially blocking the left hand side of the road. Thirteen seconds later, Naidoo’s vehicle, a white Toyota Fortuna, pulls up.
The back passenger door of the Fortuner is opened, but it is not clear from the footage who the person was who opened it or if they got out of the vehicle.
Naidoo’s wife is seen getting out of the front passenger side of the vehicle and walks towards the rear of the SUV.
Suddenly, four men alight from the stationary vehicle, three of them drawing firearms and running towards the Fortuner, firing multiple shots. The fourth man stands next to the white car.
As the bullets are fired, Naidoo’s driver accelerates and drives past the other vehicle. Naidoo is presumably in the vehicle as it speeds away, but this could not immediately be confirmed.
Pillay said Naidoo was doing “OK”.
Police have been approached for comment, and this story will be updated.
— Yusuf Abramjee (@Abramjee) October 13, 2021
Facebook Down, Instagram and WhatsApp also offline
Facebook is currently experiencing an outage impacting its family of sites including WhatsApp and Instagram.
Most Facebook users are seeing an error message that says ‘This site can’t be reached.’ On Instagram, the error message shows as a 5xx Server Error message.
The outage is impacting users on both desktop and mobile.
“We’re aware that some people are having trouble accessing our apps and products,” Andy Stone, policy communications manager at Facebook, tweeted on Monday. “We’re working to get things back to normal as quickly as possible, and we apologize for any inconvenience.”
We’re aware that some people are having trouble accessing our apps and products. We’re working to get things back to normal as quickly as possible, and we apologize for any inconvenience.
— Facebook (@Facebook) October 4, 2021
Facebook Messenger and Oculus are also experiencing outages.
The first reports on DownDetector.com started around 5pm.
According to The Verge, the issue is likely related to a DNS issue. When Slack experienced an outage last week, it was also related to DNS issues.
Husband killed, wife critical as robbers open fire during Joburg home invasion
A home invasion on Sunday night left a man dead and his wife fighting for her life after they were shot by robbers in Randpark, Johannesburg.
Emer-G-Med private emergency services paramedics found the man had sustained fatal gunshot wounds and he was declared dead.
His wife was also shot several times and was stabilised before being taken by ambulance to a nearby hospital for treatment.
Reports from the scene indicated there were several armed assailants.
Police are investigating the incident.- TimesLIVE
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