How to catch a rapist

From the left are Monique Strydom (CEO Matla A Bana), Professor Gerard Labuschagne, Col Harri (WC Provincial Co-ordinator) and Gillian Arendse (iTemba Labs - main sponsor of the training).

GEORGE NEWS - During the last three years more than 1 500 serial rape cases have been linked by the DNA laboratories of the SAPS.

How many still go undetected, remains to be discovered. Serial rapists get away with sexual violence, and often with murder as well. It is a well-known fact that serial rape often escalates into murder, like the case of the Sunday Rapist from Gauteng who was recently convicted and sentenced to life behind bars.

In the Western Cape these offenders will hopefully soon discover that their crimes do not go unnoticed. This is due to a specialised training course hosted by Matla A Bana - A voice against child abuse.

Matla A Bana CEO, Monique Strydom is one of the 21 Sipadan hostages who survived a four month ordeal at the hands of the Abu Sayyaf in 2000. Today she is a very popular motivational speaker, winner of numerous awards and also the founder of two charity trusts. Her projects reach more than 14 000 abused children every year.

The focus of this NGO is to minimise the secondary abuse that child victims suffer when they report crimes, so they work very closely with the SAPS Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offence (FCS) units.

Detectives from all over the Western Cape receive training in the Investigation of Serial Rape by one of South Africa's top experts, Professor Gerard Labuschagne. Detectives are trained in the profiling of the perpetrator, modus operandi and the very crucial skill of linking cases. Because of the lack of a specialised task team and officers not communicating, many of these cases remain unlinked. Prof Labuschagne said that one serial rapist can rape up to 40 women.

Currently the FCS units are investigating a series of serial rapes in Cape Town and small towns such as Vredenburg and Knysna. With this type of specialised training, cases will now be resolved quicker.


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