Polokwane - A man linked to four murders and an assault in and around the University of Venda in Thohoyandou has been arrested, Limpopo police said on Wednesday.

The 24-year-old man was a student at the university, said provincial commissioner Lt-Gen Fannie Masemola.

He was arrested around 7pm on Tuesday at a student accommodation house in Thohoyandou Unit C .

University cleaner Brenda Ndove, 45, was stabbed to death on Friday and her personal items stolen. Her body was found near the university's administration block.

A student, Shudufhadzo Sandy Thagisa, 20, was hospitalised after she was assaulted and robbed in May. She has since been discharged from hospital.

The man was found in possession of Thagisa's student identification card and cellphone.

“Also found in his possession was a cellphone belonging to the late Brenda Ndove and a hairpin belonging to another murdered woman, Livhuwani Mbodi,” Masemola said.

Mbodi, 22, was found dead on the university's premises in March.

“Like the discovery which was made when the body of Ndove was recovered, Mbodi's head also had a deep wound at the back, with other wounds on her back, seemingly caused by the act of pulling her from the original scene of crime to the dumping place,” Masemola said.

Investigations revealed Mbodi was raped before she was murdered.

The bodies of two girls, aged eight and nine, were found next to a cemetery in Golgotha, near the university. They were believed to have been kidnapped from their schools.

Nine-year-old Tshililo Ndou's body was found in a yard at Golgotha village, a walking distance from the university's premises, in April.

“Investigations also revealed that the little girl endured a rape ordeal before being strangled to death,” he said.

Eight-year-old Zwivhuya Alice Mashau's body was found a stone's throw away from the university between two piles of sand in June, Masemola said.

She was also strangled after being raped.

“We now want to put the matter into perspective that none of those murders were ritual-related,” Masemola said.

“No body part whatsoever was removed from the bodies of the deceased and the arrested suspect will be facing charges of murder, rape, robbery and attempted murder.”

The man would appear at the Thohoyandou Magistrate's Court on Thursday.

Sapa