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Truck driver arrested for allegedly raping hitchhiker at gunpoint

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In a shocking incident, a 43-year-old truck driver was arrested in Middleburg for allegedly raping a hitchhiker whom he had picked up from Kariega. The incident occurred on Monday, 08 May 2023 at about 15:40 in the Sarah Baartman District.

Police spokesperson Col Priscilla Naidu said the 23-year-old woman was travelling in the truck with other passengers when the driver dropped off the other passengers in Jansenville.

The woman continued her journey alone with the truck driver, but about 30km from Graaff-Reinet on the Jansenville road at a resting spot, the driver allegedly threatened her with a firearm and raped her.

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After the assault, the woman was dropped off at Graaff-Reinet where she immediately reported the incident to the police. Following a swift investigation by SAPS Graaff-Reinet Operational Command Centre (OCC) and Vispol members, the truck driver was arrested while en route to Colesberg.

Read | This is why truck drivers should be allowed to travel with their partners

The driver has been detained on a charge of rape and is expected to appear in court soon. The Sarah Baartman District Commissioner, Maj Gen Zolani Xawuka, commended the police for their immediate action and apprehension of the suspect.

Maj Gen Xawuka has also warned women about the dangers of hitchhiking, stating that it can easily lead to robberies, rape, human trafficking or even murder. He urged women to avoid hitchhiking at all costs as it places their safety in danger.

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