The suspect in the rape of Alice Maree was out on parole at the time because the computer systems of the SAPS and correctional services are not linked.

As a result, the Correctional Services Department had not known there were other cases pending against the 20-year-old man, DCS’s deputy regional commissioner in the Free State and Northern Cape, Grace Molatedi said. He allegedly attacked and raped Maree, 21, at her workplace in Theunissen on February 9. Maree died in hospital about two weeks later.

“If the police don’t enquire about a specific prisoner, the DCS won’t know that there are other charges against the inmate.”

Free State police spokesperson Warrant Officer Malebo Khosana had earlier said the man was wanted on a charge of unlawful use of a vehicle and escaping from custody.

Maree’s suspected rapist was released on parole on February 6. He had been sentenced to six months’ imprisonment for assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm, but was released after serving less than three months. He had no prior convictions.

Maree died on February 24, after she started having fits and was admitted to the ICU at Pelonomi Hospital in Bloemfontein.

According to her mother Ella, Maree had suffered injuries to the head and neck. The family believed her death was as a result of this.

The State was waiting for a post-mortem report to decide if a murder charge should be added.

The suspect would appear in the Theunissen Magistrate’s Court on March 10.