A woman was rescued in the nick of time from a possible rapist who grabbed and dragged her more than 70 metres towards the bushes as she was walking to her workplace on Umdloti Beach Road, on Thursday.

Fortunately, the suspect was apprehended shortly after the terrifying ordeal and handed over to police. Reaction Unit South Africa (RUSA) boss, Prem Balram, said the woman endured a close and frightening encounter.

“At approximately 09:05, members of Reaction Unit South Africa arrived on scene and found an emotional woman standing on the roadside. She explained that while walking to her place of employment near Umdloti Beach, she was accosted by a man pushing a trolley.

“Without warning he grabbed her by her shirt and dragged her more than 70 metres towards a bush where she believed he intended on raping her. Her shirt was torn where he had grabbed her,” Balram said.

The incident was witnessed by passing motorists who contacted RUSA and requested assistance. “Two motorists and a female pedestrian went to assist the victim when the suspect casually walked away. The victim pointed out the suspect who was apprehended by Reaction Officers. During questioning, he claimed that he was the victim’s brother according to tradition, however, she explained that he was Xhosa and he confirmed that he was Zulu. When confronted with the information, the suspect could not provide a reason as to why he attacked and dragged the woman towards the bush. He was placed under arrest and handed over to the Verulam SAPS for further investigation,” added Balram. “Women on foot are soft targets for marauding suspects who pounce on the defenceless and unsuspecting
victims. We urge women to walk in groups as this is safer. A woman on her own is vulnerable and easy prey for loitering criminals. Thankfully, the alertness and quick action fro the motorists and pedestrian saved the victim from a vile crime,” said Balram.