Anti-femicide activists outside the court. PHOTO: ANA.

JOHANNESBURG - Court proceedings on Tuesday morning were delayed at the Protea Magistrates' Court after the 28-year-old suspect accused of murdering his 41-year-old girlfriend claimed he had been tortured overnight while in custody.

The suspect was sent for medical observation before court proceedings could begin. 

Commenting on the matter outside the court, Gauteng Community and Safety MEC Faith Mazibuko said: "The information that we received from the station commander is that they had to sent him for medical assessment in the morning. 

"As you know, suspects will allege that they were tortured at police stations trying to get information." 

Gauteng Community and Safety MEC Faith Mazibuko speaks to journalists ahead of the court appearance of the 28-year-old who allegedly killed and buried his 41-year-old girlfriend in a shallow grave in his shack. PHOTO: ANA.

The yet-to-be identified woman was allegedly killed two months ago and her corpse was found on Sunday buried in the suspect's shack in Vlakfontein, South of Johannesburg. The suspect allegedly led the police to the body.

Mazibuko urged anyone who has a missing 41-year-old female relative or friend - originally from QwaQwa - to contact Lenasia Police in Johannesburg. 

Gauteng Community and Safety MEC Faith Mazibuko speaks about the murder suspect: VIDEO: Dimpho Maja/ANA.

On Monday the MEC visited the crime scene, where she spoke to community members in Vlakfontein Ext 1. 

"The rate of femicide is of grave concern to us as the Gauteng government. We encourage women to break the silence by reporting incidents of gender-based violence as they tend to escalate to femicide," said Mazibuko.

"We encourage the community to report people who are missing to the police as the suspect confessed that there are other bodies that he buried."

Court proceedings were expected to begin when the suspect returns from his medical check up.

African News Agency (ANA)