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Johannesburg - The net is closing on the man believed to have raped and murdered two toddlers in Diepsloot after the community found bloodstained children’s clothing, a nappy and a used condom in his shack just metres away from where the girls’ bodies were found.
However, the suspect – who police believe might be linked to another little girl’s murder last month – was on the run at the time of publication.
He had disappeared before the community raided his shack.
The bodies of the Mali cousins, two-year-old Yonelisa and three-year-old Zandile, were found in a communal toilet in Extension 1 early on Tuesday.
Major-General Oswald Reddy, the cluster commander for the Honeydew area, said at the scene on Tuesday that the toddlers had been mutilated and it appeared as though they had been raped too.
“The main suspect we have in mind is on the run,” Reddy said in Wednesday morning.
Reddy said four people had been arrested and taken in for questioning from the shacks surrounding the suspect’s shack but their possible involvement was unclear.
“It’s highly unlikely they wouldn’t have seen anything,” Reddy said.
The people taken in for questioning would also undergo DNA testing to “see if they can be linked (to the murders)”, Reddy added.
Meanwhile, SA National Civic Organisation’s deputy chairwoman, Lizzy Chauke said she did not know how the community had identified the suspect’s shack, nor did she have more details about him, but that they had found his passport.
Reddy thanked the community for supplying them with this information. “That’s where the breakthrough came from,” he said.
On Wednesday, Zandile’s mother, Sisanda, said:
“She was playing. I was at the shop (when she was snatched)”.
Police informed Sisanda’s older sister Thokozani, that her daughter Yonelisa and her niece had been murdered.
The cousins’ bodies were found less than 100m from the home in which Anelise Mkhondo, five, was snatched last month.
Her body was found a few days later in a rubbish heap nearby. No arrest had been made in connection with her murder but police said on Wednesday they had linked the docket with the latest murders. “We suspect that it might be a serial killer involved,” said Reddy at the scene.
A specialised criminal psychology unit from the national police office has been assigned to the investigation, according to the Gauteng police spokesman Brigadier Neville Malila.
Meanwhile, protests and looting erupted in Diepsloot after the grisly discovery of the bodies.
Reddy said that the looting was the result of “criminal elements that take advantage” of the situation but that the area was calm on Wednesday morning.