Three men were expected to line up for an identity parade this week, where some of the taxi rape victims would say if any of them took part in their ordeal.
This is according to Gauteng community safety, which said at least one taxi driver had already been taken in for questioning but could not be positively linked to any crime.
The taxi rape cases only received higher attention after a female taxi passenger was raped in the presence of her 10-year-old son during a four-hour ordeal last Sunday.
More women later came out saying they were also raped and robbed in a similar taxi with a similar modus operandi. The common trend was that the unsuspecting female passengers would catch a taxi with three men inside only for the vehicle to take a different route. Most of the victims were allegedly raped and robbed at gunpoint.
City Press has seen stories reported by a local newspaper in Roodepoort dating as far back as June 2016, which suggests that this trend of crime has been going on for some time without police paying attention and connecting the dots or escalating the investigations.
It has further emerged that not all victims have reported the crime and that many were only coming out after the widely publicised incident from last Sunday.
Gauteng community safety MEC Sizakele Nkosi Malobane said they had through interviews with some victims this week picked up that “police did not treat them well”.
The police have been widely criticised for not doing much when it was clear that rapists were out on the loose.
Gauteng police spokesperson Colonel Lungelo Dlamini said police were “investigating several cases committed during 2016 and the recent cases involving two Toyota Quantums; grey and white”.
He said the two identified vehicles “targeted women in the West Rand and Johannesburg areas”.
Dlamini said that police were investigating more than five cases opened by the victims and that the provincial commissioner of Gauteng, Lieutenant General Deliwe de Lange, had this week “established a task team that will look into all the cases and track down the perpetrators”.
“No suspects have been identified or linked to these cases at this stage, although police are following up on several leads,” he said.
While Dlamini would not say anything about any three people set to be brought in for the identity parade, the community safety department said this was expected sometime in the new week.
“Three suspects were identified, waiting for ID parade and will appear in court soon,” said the department’s media liaison officer, Hlulani Mashaba.
“Seven cases were reported recently, but there is a growing number of cases coming through to our offices. [The crime] has been going on for some time, but victims were somehow afraid to come forward and report,” Mashaba said.