Johannesburg – A 24-year-old suspect linked to the double murder and rape attack at Rhodes Park appears to have already confessed to his role in the brutal crimes.
Last month, two couples who were visiting the Kensington park were attacked by a group of 12 men.
It’s understood that the group of criminals raped one of the women, tied up the two men and threw them in the nearby lake, forcing their lovers to watch as they drowned.
On Sunday, a man believed to have been arrested for the murders on Friday was seen accompanied by the police in the area.
Shackled around the ankles to prevent him from escaping, The Star observed as a man directed officers towards the opening to the massive drain system that runs beneath the park, and the attached ladder the alleged killer gang had used to climb down into the drain.
This was how the gang allegedly escaped after the crime.
A source close to the investigation confirmed that the shackled man seen by The Star apparently pointing out the crime scene was the same man arrested on Friday in connection with the murders.
The man, according to the source, pointed out the crime scene and the entrances to the park that were used on the day, as well as the group’s escape route.
“He has already admitted what he did,” the source told The Star.
Gauteng police spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Lungelo Dlamini confirmed that the man seen by The Star was the one arrested on Friday morning and that he had been taken to the park on Sunday as part of the investigation.
He said the man had been detained in Yeoville for questioning, and that after interviewing him, police had taken a decision to charge him with murder, attempted murder and rape.
He was expected to appear in the Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court on Monday morning.
While it’s understood this man could potentially lead investigators to the other suspects, no other arrests were made at the weekend.
“Police are still appealing to anyone who may have information on the whereabouts of the (other) suspects to come forward. Information can be forwarded to Crime Stop on 08600 10111 at all hours,” Dlamini said.
Members of the I Love Kensington Association were elated by the arrest.
The association’s Tony de Munnik said he could confirm that a man was arrested in Yeoville through the co-operation of the local community.
“This is some good news from a very angry community, who are determined to keep our space safe and clean,” he said.
Since the attack, the young woman who was raped has spoken with numerous media publications and broadcasters about what had happened.
According to the woman, two of the men walked past the couples before another 10 men surrounded them from the other side.
The first two, brandishing guns, told the couples to lie on the ground. When they complied, the men began searching them and took their valuables.
It was after this that the attackers then allegedly put their hands under the women’s skirts and sexually assaulted them.
The women were then instructed to take off their clothes, and their breasts were fondled and “searched”, allegedly because the men believed they could be hiding more valuables.
The attackers then allegedly said that because they couldn’t find any money, they would throw the men in the water.
“The one said I mustn’t look at him, and he raped me,” the woman said. – Additional reporting by Anna Cox