Cops arrest man believed to be responsible for Masiphumelele crimes

Police say they first arrested the 33-year-old man for being in possession of suspected stolen property.

FILE: After issuing a warning order for a crowd of roughly 400 people in Masiphumelele township in Cape Town, police began arresting protesting residents. Some fell over in the scramble, their clothing coming off in the chaos. Picture: Thomas Holder/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - Western Cape police say they have detained a man who officers believe is responsible for a string of crimes in Masiphumelele including the rape and murder of a teenager.

The 14 year-old-boy's murder prompted vigilante attacks in the community.

Residents have also long been complaining about ineffective policing in their area.

Police say they first arrested the 33-year-old man for being in possession of suspected stolen property in August.

In September, investigators linked him to the rape of a 24-year-old woman who was attacked on the same morning the 14-year-old boy was raped and killed.

Authorities say the man is the prime suspect in the teenager's murder.

He appeared in the Simon's Town Magistrates Court this week and will be back in the dock next month.