Woman escaped as friend was raped and their husbands drowned
Ahmed Areff, News24
Johannesburg - Gauteng police have launched a manhunt for a gang that drowned two men in a dam at Rhodes Park, Johannesburg in front of their wives.
One of the gang of 12 also raped one of the men's wives, while the other wife ran away around 19:00 on Saturday, Lieutenant Colonel Lugelo Dlamini said.
"Apparently two men and their wives (28 and 29) were walking at the park when they were confronted by a group of about 12 suspects," he said.
"It is alleged that one of the suspects was armed with a handgun. The suspects tied up both men and threw them into a dam at the park. One of their wives was raped and the other managed to escape."
Police divers found the men's bodies later.
DA Gauteng MPL Jack Bloom said a source told him the gang had tied up the husbands in their own clothes, and also confirmed that only one of the suspects raped a women, while the others men held her down.
He said the couples were apparently from the Free State.
Park gates weren’t locked
The 12 apparently escaped from the park through a storm drain.
"The park is locked at night and police struggled to get in when they were called."
But Johannesburg City Parks spokesperson Jenny Moodley told News24 the park closes at 18:00.
However the gates were not locked.
She said it was possible the couples had come earlier in the day and were on the way out of the park.
People also often used the park as a thoroughfare.
"We are awaiting a police report on the incident. The safety concerns of patrons to Rhodes Park are of utmost importance to us," she said.
She said plans were being looked at to deploy guards in the city's parks permanently.
Bloom said there had previously been other crime incidents in the park.
Moodley confirmed there had been incidents of crime in the park in the past.