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Five in court four brutal murder of Nigerian man, and gang rape of three women in Mpumalanga

Five people, including three minors, will appear before the Bethal Magistrate’s Court this morning in connection with the murder of a Nigerian national and the rape of three women. File Picture

Five people, including three minors, will appear before the Bethal Magistrate’s Court this morning in connection with the murder of a Nigerian national and the rape of three women. File Picture

Published Jun 20, 2022

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Pretoria - Five suspects, including three minors, are scheduled to appear before the Bethal Magistrate’s Court this morning after they were arrested by police in Mpumalanga in connection with the brutal murder of a Nigerian man, aged 25, as well as gang raping three women, aged between 27 and 35.

Mpumalanga police spokesperson Brigadier Selvy Mohlala said three of the arrested people are under age - a 16-year-old and two aged 17.

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The incident reportedly occurred at Bethal on Friday night.

“According to the report on Saturday, 18 June, 2022, police received a complaint from Bethal hospital about a man who was admitted with multiple stab wounds but unfortunately succumbed to his injuries. Upon arrival at the hospital the members opened a murder case,” said Mohlala.

“The investigation by the police then revealed that on that fateful night, [on Friday] a group of about five males reportedly had an altercation with the man who then ran towards a local fuel station in Bethal. It is further alleged that the man was pursued by the suspects thereby stabbing him several times before they left him in a pool of blood.”

Medical personnel were notified about the incident and upon arrival they took him to hospital where he was later certified dead.

“Police learnt through their probe that after the incident, the suspects proceeded to a certain house where they found three women and allegedly gang raped them before they fled the scene on foot,” said Mohlala.

“A team consisting of the Bravo security company, members from Bethal, Secunda crime intelligence and Emzinoni converged with a sole purpose to bring the suspects to book. It was not long before the five were cornered and arrested as well as charged for murder with additional three counts of rape on Saturday.”

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The slain Nigerian man has been identified by his family as June Mwafor.

Mohlala said police are working in collaboration with other stakeholders, including probation officers as well as social workers, taking into consideration the fact that some of the suspects are minors.

“Police cannot rule out the possibility of the five being involved in some kind of gangsterism, however this will form part of the investigation by the detectives,” he said.

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The provincial commissioner of police in Mpumalanga, Lieutenant General Semakaleng Daphney Manamela has reassured communities that police will continue to work tirelessly in order to dismantle any form of criminal groupings or syndicates terrorising communities with crime.

“There is so much space created by the various challenges that the world faces today, of which young people can turn into opportunities by bringing forth innovative ideas and solutions, rather than engaging themselves in criminal activities,” she said.

“We encourage the youth to join the youth crime prevention desk in their respective police stations, in order to constructively participate in inventive ways of preventing and tackling crime in the society.”

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