Thursday 24 August 2017

Former Springbok accused of deadly axe rampage

Dan Newling in Cape Town

A former South African international rugby player has been accused of going on an axe-murdering rampage, killing "at least" three people.

The player is alleged to have killed the men in revenge for the gang rape of his daughter, who contracted HIV as a result of her assault.

South African police said the black player hacked his victims to death with an axe. One was decapitated. Others were assaulted, but managed to escape. The player's identity is being withheld from publication to prevent his daughter from being identified.

However, it is understood that the girl was attacked after a break-in at the family's home in Durban.

A gang of four burglars abducted the teenager, then raped her in a nearby wooded area. She subsequently was diagnosed as having HIV.

Enraged by his daughter's fate, her 34-year-old father is said to have brazenly stalked one of the impoverished townships near his home.

Horrifying

Over a period of at least four evenings last week, he is said to have launched horrifying axe attacks, apparently at random, at black men returning home from work. Seemingly unconcerned at being caught, he allegedly even told a group of witnesses that he would "kill 100 men if he could".

A police source said: "He didn't seem to make any effort to try and conceal himself. He was just driving around the townships in a car, then he would get out and attack someone.

"It was almost like he wanted to wipe out all the men from one particular area of the township. He must have been driven insane by what had happened to his daughter."

The player is due to appear in Durban Magistrates' Court this morning. Police are still investigating whether he acted alone. He will be charged formally with three counts of murder and one of attempted murder.

Many South Africans had wrongly assumed he is white and that therefore there may have been a racial element to the attacks, but a police spokesman yesterday confirmed that he is black.

Irish Independent

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