File picture: SAPS Twitter

POLOKWANE, - A South African Police Service intelligence-led joint operation conducted in the Seshego policing precinct at Polokwane made a major breakthrough when a 26-year-old suspect, allegedly involved in the murder and rape of women in the Seshego and Mankweng policing areas, was arrested, Limpopo police said on Saturday. 

This arrest followed an incident that occurred when a 21-year-old woman, who was reported missing on July 5, was found dead in an abandoned shack at Seshego Zone 06 on Friday, August 9, Colonel Moatshe Ngoepe said.

Soon after the disappearance of the deceased, SAPS Seshego policing cluster commander Maj-Gen Sam Mokgonyana established a dedicated team of officers comprised of the detectives and the crime intelligence units.

"This team worked tirelessly around the clock until this suspect was cornered and nabbed in his rented room around Seshego on Friday the 30th August 2019. During the arrest of this suspect, the deceased's cellphone was found in his possession."

The preliminary police investigations had revealed that the suspect allegedly raped and killed the deceased on the day she was reported missing. 

"When the investigations unfolded, it was uncovered that this suspect has [allegedly] committed a similar incident during 2014, where he raped and killed another woman in the Mankweng policing area and he was never arrested for this crime," Ngoepe said. 

Furthermore, it was found that the suspect, from Ga-Molepo, Mamatsha village in the Mankweng policing area, was out on bail for other rape cases when he allegedly committed the Seshego killing and he was due to appear in the Seshego Magistrate's Court on October 28.

It was believed that the suspect may be linked to more similar unresolved cases in the Seshego, Mankweng, and other areas, as the investigations were still under way. The suspect would appear in the Seshego Magistrate's Court soon on charges of rape and murder and later, in the Mankweng Magistrate's Court on similar charges, Ngoepe said.

Limpopo police commissioner Lt-Gen Nneke Ledwaba applauded Mokgonyana and his team on a job well done.

"We hope that victims and families of these heinous crimes will find closure on the arrest of this heartless criminal. The South African Police Service in this province will always ensure that all these criminals are removed from our streets, based on the continuous support from members of the community through the quality and reliable information," Ledwaba said. 

African News Agency