Cape Town – “I killed your sister and ran to Hout Bay. I will hand myself over to the police tomorrow, please forgive me.”
That was the text message missing Vuyokazi Mgolodela’s family received from her boyfriend while he was allegedly on the run for her murder.
It was sent days after he had allegedly beaten her to death with a metal rod and set her alight in Makhaza, Khayelitsha.
Police have arrested the 38-year-old suspect, who appeared in the Ngqamakhwe Magistrate’s Court in the Eastern Cape yesterday. He is being transported back to Cape Town.
Eastern Cape police spokesperson Jackson Manatha said the arrest followed a tip-off.
“Cape Town detectives arrived and took him after his appearance,” said Manatha.
Western Cape police spokesperson Siyabulela Malo yesterday said: “This office can confirm that a 38-year-old male has been arrested in connection with the case. He will be transported to the Western Cape to face murder charges.”
Mgolodela, a 27-year-old mother, was reported missing by her cousin on Monday last week after she returned from the Eastern Cape to a locked house.
The text message was sent to her family on Saturday.
Her cousin grew suspicious when other relatives and a neighbour didn’t know her whereabouts.
Another of Mgolodela’s cousins, Brenda Kunene, said Mgolodela was last known to have gone to her boyfriend’s house, but his house was locked as well, and his neighbours didn’t know where he was.
Then, last Tuesday, passers-by en route to work discovered the body of a woman behind a local fishery business.
Although there was no confirmation at the time that the body was Mgolodela’s, her family believed it was.
Mgolodela’s older sister, Babalwa, lives in Johannesburg with her 5-year-old child.
She said she was informed that her sister went missing by relatives.
“Her phone was not on, only one tick was showing on WhatsApp, which is unusual for her. I knew something was wrong when no one could get hold of her boyfriend.
“She called me on a Saturday and told me he was abusive and that she would break up with him after she gets a protection order.”
Babalwa said that was the first time Mgolodela opened up about how she feared her boyfriend.
“On Wednesday, he sent a text message saying he did not know my sister’s whereabouts. Throughout the day he kept on texting, asking if she was found yet.
“That night, he confessed to killing her and he said that he was going to hand himself over to the police.
“He lied and said he was in Hout Bay, while all along he ran to the Eastern Cape. His arrest brings no comfort to us because she is gone for good. She was my only sibling and he took her away from me and her daughter.”
The family had forwarded his text to police and posted his picture on social media, warning people to be on the lookout.
He was arrested in his village in Ngqamakhwe in the Eastern Cape.