Koster - A 19-year-old man arrested in connection with the murder of two schools girls appeared in the Vryburg Magistrate's Court on Monday, North West police said.

Lieutenant Colonel Amanda Funani said Zander Bylsma was remanded in custody until August 6 while investigations ahead of a bail application would continue.

Bylsma was arrested on Saturday shortly after the bodies of Marna Engelbrecht, 17, and Sharnelle Hough, 16, were found at the Stella High School hostel.

The hostel matron found Engelbrecht's body hanging from the rails of the staircase in the hostel. She alerted the school management and the police were summoned.

"Upon investigation, the police discovered the second body [Sharnelle Hough] with a string around her neck at the hostel's bathroom. Subsequent to thorough investigation, Bylsma who is believed to be an ex-boyfriend of one of the two girls was arrested," Lieutenant Funani said.

Meanwhile, the Democratic Alliance in North West called on Education MEC Sello Lehari to lodge an urgent investigation into the murders of the two schoolgirls.

"Two young girls were robbed of their lives in an environment where they were supposed to be protected and feel safe," said Tutu Faleni, DA spokesperson on education in the province.

"There are huge question marks about the safety of our learners at schools in the province. We have urged the MEC, since 2015, to conduct a comprehensive safety audit at all schools. Not only on the structures and facilities but also on the physical safety of our learners on school premises. We can only hope that the ANC will now respond to these extremely important issues with an audit and upgrade of safety at all schools."

He said violence against women and children should be condemned and those responsible the "hideous" crimes should face the full force of the law.

African News Agency/ANA