Polokwane - South African Police Service (SAPS) officers in Northem near Bela-Bela have made a major breakthrough in apprehending a 24-year-old man in connection with two counts of murder, arson, theft of a motor vehicle, and theft, Limpopo police said on Sunday.

"This arrest emanated from a horrible incident which took place on Friday the 4th of January 2019, at Wildebeest Laagte Farm outside Northem," Colonel Moatshe Ngoepe said.

Police were summoned to the farm for an alleged arson incident. They reacted swiftly and on arrival found the entire building engulfed in flames. Police in conjunction with other roleplayers tried to extinguish the blaze but with no success.

"Further attempts were made to rescue the people inside until they managed to gain entry by breaking the windows, as all the doors were locked, and subsequently, two people were found lying dead on the floor with serious burn wounds throughout their bodies," Ngoepe said.

Preliminary police investigations revealed the identity of a possible suspect and a manhunt operation ensued. This led police to Rustenburg in the North West, where the suspect was arrested with the back-up from the Rustenburg public order policing unit.

"During the arrest, the deceased's motor vehicle was recovered at a chop-shop in the Rustenburg policing area, and also the following items belonging to the deceased were found in the possession of the suspect - cellphone, tablet, watch, and house keys.

"The process of identifying both the deceased aged 30 and 33 is still underway. The motive behind this incident is still not clear at this stage but the ongoing police investigations will tell."

The arrested suspect would appear in the Northem Magistrate's Court on Monday. Limpopo police commissioner Lt-Gen Nneke Ledwaba lauded the Northem police station officers and the Rustenburg public order policing unit for cracking such a complex case within a short space of time. Police investigations were continuing, Ngoepe said.
- African News Agency/ANA