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A prison warder stationed at the city’s Tswelopele Correctional Centre shot his girlfriend five times in the back before turning the gun on himself on tuesday morning.
The incident took place at the girlfriend’s house in Galeshewe.
Police spokesman, Lieutenant Olebogeng Tawana, said on Tuesday that the police were investigating a murder and have opened an inquest docket after a 33-year-old man shot and killed his 31-year-old girlfriend before turning the gun on himself.
“The shooting took place at approximately 9am. It is believed that the warder followed his girlfriend into the bedroom and shot her several times before turning the gun on himself.
“A firearm, believed to have been used in the murder and suicide, was found at the crime scene,” Tawana added.
The prison warder, Tshepo Peleme, allegedly killed Tsietso Tshukudu after he shot her five times in the back, before shooting himself in the head.
They were both declared dead at the scene.
It is believed that Peleme had left home as usual on Tuesday morning and reported for duty at the Tswelopele Correctional Centre, where he apparently booked out a service pistol because he apparently had to take an inmate to hospital.
After accompanying a colleague to the hospital with the inmate, it is believed that he then returned to his girlfriend’s home.
According to a neighbour, the couple was heard arguing in the kitchen before the incident.
“A few seconds later, I heard a loud bang and the woman screaming. There were more loud bangs and then it was quiet.”
It is believed that Tshukudu’s younger brother, who was sleeping in the adjacent room, ran into the bedroom and found his sister lying in a pool of blood.
Peleme was reportedly standing over the body and said: “If I cannot have you, no-one else will.”
He then put the gun to his head and shot himself.
The terrified younger brother ran out of the house screaming for help.
Department of Correctional Services’ communication manager in Kimberley, Josiah Ramokoena, on Tuesday confirmed that the weapon used at the murder scene was a service pistol belonging to the DCS.
“Pelema reported for duty as normal and he applied for a service pistol, which was issued after following due processes,” Ramokoena said.
He added that Pelema, together with a colleague, transported an offender from the facility to the Kimberley Hospital.
“It is required by law that a prison warder must carry a service pistol when escorting an offender outside the jurisdiction of the correctional facility,” Ramokoena said.
“On arrival at the hospital the offender was booked in.
“It is not clear at this stage what Pelema said to his colleague but an hour later, the Kimberley area manager received a call that one of the officials had committed suicide.”
The couple’s home in Ethel Street became the centre of emotional scenes on Tuesday as shocked friends and relatives gathered outside.
As the police barricaded the scene, loud sobbing coming from inside could clearly be heard.
Moment’s later, Tshukudu’s sister was carried out on a stretcher by emergency personnel after she apparently collapsed from shock.
As members of the police’s forensic unit were busy in the house, Tshukudu’s young son, who had been at school when the incident happened, ran into the house, screaming and asking for his mother.
Elderly relatives tried to comfort the child and prevent him from witnessing the site of his mother’s body covered with a blanket.
The sobbing boy was escorted outside where relatives tried to console him.
A close friend of the couple said on Tuesday the two did not appear to have any problems.
“From what I can recall, Pelema was not happy with the fact that the father of Tshukudu’s two children was back in the picture.”
She added that Pelema was a quiet person who loved Tshukudu very much.
“The couple appeared to be match made in heaven. This is really a horrible ending.”
Residents at the scene expressed their concern at the recent spate of gruesome killings and violence in Kimberley.
A churchgoer said Tshukudu was a child of God.
“She did not deserve to die like this. Her children are still young and are all in primary school. Only God knows what would have possessed Pelema to do such a horrible thing.” - Diamond Fields Advertiser