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Johannesburg - A 68-year-old man who was allegedly kidnapped along with a female companion was found dead from gunshot wounds in the bushes a distance away from where their vehicle was earlier recovered. The unknown woman is still missing, Limpopo police said.

Spokesperson  Lieutenant Colonel Moatshe Ngoepe said this development followed a massive search operation which was launched by the police in Maake outside Tzaneen for the two people who were kidnapped on Friday night as well as the suspects involved.

"It is alleged that a 68-year-old man was travelling with a motor vehicle in the company of an unknown woman in and around Bismark village near Lenyenye outside Tzaneen where they are believed to have been kidnapped by unknown suspects."

Ngoepe said it was at around 7.50pm when Johannes Mathipa together with the unknown woman were travelling with a Toyota Hilux when they were kidnapped. 

"The family became worried when they realised that the old man had not returned home and started phoning him, but received no response. They notified the police who immediately started searching."

Ngoepe said during the investigation the victim's vehicle was found abandoned at the roadside, there were signs that the vehicle had been tampered with indicating that force was used. 

"Inside this car, some female clothing and a pair of black Tommy takkies and one shoe belonging to the old man were found on the passenger seat."

The police investigations and search are still continuing.

African News Agency/ANA