A manhunt has been launched for six gun-toting suspects accused of storming two funeral parlours in Malipsdrift on Sunday, gang-raping five women, severely assaulting six others before shooting and injuring one man, police said on Sunday.
The Limpopo Police spokesperson Brigadier Motlafela Mojapelo said two women were accosted by six armed men along the R37 road while walking to Wisani Burial Society on their way to see a boyfriend.
Brigadier Mojapelo said suspects took them to the first mortuary, where they shot and injured one employee.
“The suspects took the victims to the second mortuary, where they found three more women and six men. They allegedly assaulted all six women with butts of their rifles until they passed out, and gang-raped the five women before robbing them of their smartphones and other belongings including undisclosed amount of cash from the safe,” said Brigadier Mojapelo.
According to Brigadier Mojapelo, another employee reporting for duty discovered the victims and called the police.
He said team of officers arrived at the scene and found badly injured victims lying on the ground and others sitting on chairs. Some of the female victims were also assaulted, adding that the victims were transferred to a hospital to receive medical care.
Lieutenant General Thembi Hadebe, the provincial police commissioner, said a team of investigators has already been activated to track down the suspects.
“The team will spend sleepless nights, hunting down these heartless criminals and bringing them to book. I urge community members to come forward with information to assist the police in cracking these cases as speedily as possible,” said Lt Gen Hadebe.
Brigadier Mojapelo said police have opened investigations into five counts of rape, three counts of kidnapping, attempted murder, and business robberies.