Soshanguve man, 60, nabbed for murder of young girlfriend's daughter
PRETORIA - A 60-year old man from Soshanguve, north of Pretoria, will appear in court on Friday, facing a murder charge following the retrieval of the body of his six-year-old step-daughter from a dam in Block GG, Soshanguve.
On Tuesday, Gauteng police spokesperson Brigadier Mathapelo Peters said preliminary investigations suggest that the child was targeted after a fight between the sexagenarian and his 22-year old girlfriend, who is the deceased child's mother.
"At the time of the child's disappearance, it is alleged that the mother was not at home. The three lived together in Block PP2, Ndlozi Section in Soshanguve. Police on Sunday embarked on a search for the little girl after she had been reported missing at Rietgat SAPS [police station]," said Peters.
"During the critical initial investigation, police were able to swiftly establish that the 60-year old suspect was behind the disappearance of the child; whereafter the man on Monday afternoon, a day after the child's disappearance, pointed out to the police the exact spot where he had allegedly dumped the body of the six-year-old child."
Peters said while the nature of visible injuries on the victim's body suggest that the child had been strangled, the exact cause of death will be confirmed by the outcome of the post mortem set to be conducted in due course.
"Police have at this point been able to also establish that the suspect is an ex-convict who previously spent 25 years behind bars for the murder of his then ex-wife and her lover," said Peters.
Gauteng Police Commissioner, Lieutenant General Elias Mawela on Tuesday condemned the "callous and heartless" incident.
"While it will probably be of cold comfort to the family of the deceased six-year-old girl, the management of police in Gauteng is pleased with the quick-thinking investigators who were able to swiftly connect the dots, identifying the perpetrator and locating the victim," said Mawela.
He reaffirmed the police's commitment to prioritise the investigation of cases of gender-based violence and cases where children are victims.
Mawela has instructed the Rietgat police station to ensure that the 22-year old mother and the immediate family of the deceased girl are provided with the necessary support as per the SAPS Victim Support Programme.
African News Agency (ANA)