Pretoria – A Gauteng-based police officer and an alleged accomplice are this morning scheduled to appear in the Nebo Magistrate’s Court facing charges of kidnapping and obstructing the course of justice in connection with the abduction of Refiloe Malope in May.
The 31-year-old woman was taken by force, by two people, who were seen shoving her into the boot of a vehicle. The abduction took place at Kgaphamadi village under the Hlogotlou policing area in Limpopo on May 9.
“Two suspects, a 40-year-old police sergeant stationed at Benoni police station in Gauteng and his accomplice, aged 39, were nabbed during a joint intelligence-driven operation that was conducted by the Limpopo tracking team, provincial organised crime and Hlogotlou detectives,” said Limpopo police spokesperson Brigadier Motlafela Mojapelo.
The Gauteng-based police sergeant was arrested while he was at work on Tuesday. His accomplice was apprehended at his hideout this morning in Apel.
“The team is currently following up on the information that the suspects might have murdered the woman and dumped her body into a discontinued ventilation mine shaft in Benoni, Gauteng,” Mojapelo said.
“The search and rescue unit of the SAPS in Benoni and the Department of Mineral Resources have been requested to assist in these efforts. The operation will commence as soon as the necessary equipment to access the shaft are made available.”
In May, IOL reported that the woman was allegedly approached by one of the suspects, under the pretext that he was looking for assistance as his vehicle broke down in the village.
When they arrived at the car, the second suspect suddenly emerged and the two forcibly put the woman into the boot of the car.
Meanwhile, provincial commissioner of police in Limpopo, Lieutenant-General Thembi Hadebe has hailed the team of investigators “for ultimately cracking” the case of the kidnapped woman.
After the abduction, Hadebe established a team of investigators to track down the people who had seized the woman.