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Wife-killer throws himself in front of bus

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Andrew Letsholo

THE STAR

Palesa Letsholo with her husband Andrew Letsholo who allegedly killed her. Photo: Matthews Baloy

 

Johannesburg - Axeman Andrew Letsholo threw himself in front of a moving bus two days after his wife Palesa’s gruesome murder.

He died last Thursday on the run after Palesa was found dead in their marital bed in their Protea North, Soweto, home.

She had a cloth stuffed into her mouth. A bloodied axe was found nearby. She had been struck three times.

On the day of the murder, Letsholo vanished into thin air.

Soweto police spokesman Warrant Officer Kay Makhubela said cops traced the fugitive to a place near Rustenburg a day later.

Police had found Palesa’s car, which Letsholo had taken off in, parked in front of the shops in Marikana the day after the murder.

They waited, ready to pounce, but Letsholo never pitched.

The Star has pieced together the former human resources practitioner’s flight route.

An ex-colleague said Wednesday the father-of-three had gone back to his former workplace after Palesa’s slaying.

“He was here at the office talking to everybody… That was the last time we saw him. We did not suspect anything until the cops came looking for him after being alerted by his wife’s car tracker that he was here.”

The man, who asked not to be named, said Letsholo had been working at Lonmin briefly until the protracted miners’ strike that ended recently. His contract was not renewed.

Letsholo had rented a room in Bapong village while he was still under the mine’s employ and went home on Fridays.

Letsholo had fled to the same room after killing his wife, the former colleague said.

On Wednesday, a source familiar with the situation said a bus full of schoolchildren on a school trip to Pilanesberg Game Reserve had trundled onto the R556 in Segwelane village.

The 38-year-old man ran into the road and in its path, ending a bizarre and unexplained set of events.

“Information we received is that he killed himself around 10.30am on Thursday by throwing himself in front of a bus. No one knew who he was, and his body had been lying in the mortuary all this time.

“The family had gone to Rustenburg to look for him when they found out that he was dead,” Makhubela said.

 

When the domestic worker and a neighbour discovered Palesa’s body, they were severely traumatised.

The helper, who had been working at the house for only three weeks, quit her job immediately, and the neighbour’s health had worsened since the gruesome discovery.

A relative, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that when Letsholo left his house that morning, he told the helper that Palesa was ill.

The dead man’s relative said Letsholo was a quiet man who loved watching true crime shows on the Investigation Discovery channel on DStv. He was obsessed with crime stories.

He also loved books on crime, such as The World’s Greatest Crime of Passion and The World’s Greatest Serial Killer.

The couple had been together for about 12 years and had a 9-year-old girl and 4-year-old twin boys.

botho.molosankwe@inl.co.za

The Star


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