Teenager in court for allegedly burning down a shop

Police crime scene tape.

North West teenager arrested for burning down a shop is expected to appear in the Wolmaransstad Magistrate’s Court. File picture: Gerd Altman/Pixabay

Published Jul 10, 2022


Rustenburg – A teenage boy arrested for allegedly burning down a shop in Wolmaransstad is expected to appear in court on Monday, North West police said.

The 17-year-old was found fainted inside a burning shop on July 8. He allegedly gained entry through the roof.

"According to information, security guards reacted to an activated alarm at one of the shopping centres in Wolmaransstad. Consequently, the police, paramedics and firefighters were called to the scene," North West police spokesperson Lieutenant-Colonel Amanda Funani said.

"In the process of dousing the fire, the suspect who apparently gained entrance through the roof, was found fainted in the store. The suspect was rescued and taken to hospital where he was treated for smoke inhalation and later discharged."

Funani said it has since been established that the teenager was previously arrested for theft in May and released under the care of his parents.

He was expected to appear in the Wolmaransstad Magistrate's Court facing a charge of burglary and arson.

"Preliminary crime scene investigation revealed that the store burnt to ashes. The district commissioner of Dr Kenneth Kaunda, Major-General Suzette Pretorius applauded the Wolmaransstad detectives and other role-players for their swift response that led to rescuing and apprehension of the suspect," Funani said.

In a separate incident, a man accused of killing his two-year-old nephew in Blydeville, near Lichtenburg, would apply for bail on Thursday.

According to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), the Lichtenburg Magistrate’s Court postponed the case against Tshepiso Lucas Leeto, 23, to July 14 for a formal bail application.

"Police reports reveal that Leeto was arrested on Wednesday, July 6 2022, for the alleged murder of his two-year-old nephew, Neo Refemetswe Tlhame, whose lifeless body was found in a shallow grave at extension 3, Blydeville, outside Lichtenburg, on Tuesday, July 5 2022.

“Police interrogation linked him to the murder and he was subsequently arrested and charged," said NPA spokesperson in North West division Henry Mamothame.

"The report further indicates that police were called by Neo’s mother after they spotted a suspicious grave near the river. The grave was dug out, and the decomposed body of young Neo was identified, with the clothes he was wearing on the day of his disappearance."

North West police said Neo went missing on May 24, while with his grandparents. His disappearance was established by his mother, when she went to fetch him after work.