Cape Town - A 49-year-old man has been arrested for the murder of his girlfriend and her two-year-old daughter, after their bodies were found hidden and wrapped in blankets inside their home.
The man, who cannot be named until he has been charged, was arrested by Delft police on Monday morning.
Police spokesperson Sinathi Joni confirms the man’s arrest: “A 49-year-old man was arrested today (Monday) by Delft police in connection with a double murder case that was registered for investigation. The suspect is expected to make a court appearance at the Bellville Magistrates’ Court once he has been charged.”
It is also believed the man had been stalking single women, especially mothers, on Facebook, by sending them private messages.
According to one woman, who asked to remain anonymous, she chatted to the suspect last week, days after he disappeared from the Delft home he’d been sharing with his girlfriend of two years.
The Daily Voice went to the rented one-room home in N2 Gateway on Tuesday, where the smell of death still hung in the air.
It is here where police discovered the bodies of little Mishka last week, and two days later, that of her mother Shafieka Petersen, 38.
Both Shafieka and the suspect were unemployed.
Inside, landlord Themba Malgas, 52, points out the small kitchen cupboard where Mishka was found.
Themba says last Thursday, his girlfriend alerted him to a bad smell coming from the tiny room in the backyard.
He and his other tenant forced open the security gate of the room and found Mishka.
“I saw Shafieka and the child last Sunday, and the boyfriend on Monday,” he says.
Landlord Themba Malgas shows the plastic basin in which Shafieka's body was found. Picture: Jack Lestrade/ANA
“I found the child first, wrapped in blankets inside the cupboard.”
Police came to remove the tiny body, which had apparently been cut into pieces.
But cops did not realise the body of the mother was also in the room, hidden in a big plastic basin under a table.
Themba says on Saturday, “when the smell of death did not abate” he called Shafieka’s sister and they went back into the room.
“I did not think that a body of an adult would fit in that (basin),” he says.
“I thought the clothing in the basin was dirty washing. When I lifted the clothes, there was a brown blanket with blood and then I saw there were ropes tied from one end to the other and I saw worms (maggots). I said to the sister, ‘here is a body, call the police’.”