Three arrested after Limpopo couple’s gruesome murder
PRETORIA – South African Police Services have arrested three people in connection with the October murder of a young Limpopo couple, which sparked violent protests and the killing of an alleged perpetrator’s livestock by angry community members.
The arrests followed an intelligence-driven operation conducted by the provincial investigating team and other units, including local detectives, Limpopo spokesman Brigadier Motlafela Mojapelo said on Monday.
Lucia Malapane,18, and 21-year old Nius Malatjie were found dead in their house at Ga-Rapitsi village by their neighbour, said to be Malatjie’s employer also.
The 47-year-old businessman had apparently gone to the couple’s house to find out why Malatjie had not reported for work when he made the gruesome discovery. The young couple’s one- year-old baby was found sitting next to the parents’ bodies.
“The matter was reported to the police and on arrival at the scene, the deceased were found with gruesome injuries. The initial investigations were then immediately activated. These murders sparked widespread violent protests by community members in the area, after they accused the said businessman of being responsible for the brutal murder of the young couple,” said Mojapelo.
“The angry mob from this village went on the rampage, torching the businessman’s shop and one motor vehicle. They proceeded to his house, burnt it and in the process, killed some livestock including chickens, goats and pigs.”
The suspects then fled the scene. Police have not yet arrested anyone for the violence.
“The intense police investigations into the killings continued until the three suspects were arrested yesterday. The suspects were found in possession of some items belonging to the deceased,” said Mojapelo.
“The suspects, between 34 and 47 years old, will appear before Bolobedu Magistrate's Court on Monday ... facing charges of house breaking with intent to commit two counts of murder, rape and robbery.”
Police investigations were continuing, including the motive for the murders.
African News Agency (ANA)