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RUSTENBURG - A 19-year-old man was arrested in connection with the murder of his girlfriend in Mahikeng, North West police said on Tuesday.

Spokesperson Brigadier Sabata Mokgwabone said the man was arrested on Monday.

"The suspect who evaded the arrest was handed over to the police yesterday in the afternoon by his brother following an incident in which an 18-year-old woman was allegedly stabbed several times and ultimately doused with petrol. The incident took place in the early hours of Sunday, 1 December 2019, at Ramosadi village, outside Mahikeng," he said.

"According to information available at this stage, reports suggest that the woman was on her way home when the suspect approached her. She was heard screaming a few minutes later. Although she was subsequently found bleeding, she managed to inform the members of the community who the suspect was. The woman suffered third-degree burns."

The boyfriend is expected to appear in the Molopo Magistrate's Court in Mmabatho on Wednesday.

In another unrelated incident, a 36-year-old man was also expected to appear in the Molopo Magistrates’ Court for murder. 

"This after the suspect was arrested yesterday [Monday] in the evening for fatally stabbing a 34-year-old woman on Saturday, 30 November 2019 at approximately 2.30am in Montshiwa Location, Mmabatho.

"It is alleged that the suspect went to Dibate village to look for his girlfriend whom he could not find. He allegedly pelted a house with stones and broke window panes. The suspect ran away after a 13-year-old boy woke up to investigate. The boy’s mother, who is the sister to the suspect’s girlfriend, also woke up and they went to Montshiwa to seek assistance. At that point, they were in the company of the victim’ seven-year-old boy," Mokgwabone said.

"They were allegedly on their way back home when they met the suspect who stabbed the victim and ran away. Consequently, the incident was reported to the police who were on patrol by the victim’s 13-year-old son who ran from the scene to seek assistance. The victim was certified dead on the scene."

North West provincial commissioner, Lieutenant General Baile Motswenyane condemned both incidents. 

She also thanked the family for handing over the alleged perpetrator to the police to face the full might of the law. 

North West Premier Job Mokgoro said he has, with sadness and concern, noted the increasing number of the violent rape and murder being perpetrated against young women in the various parts of the North West in recent days.

He condemned the brutal murder and applauded the swift arrest of the 19-year-old man after he was positively identified through CCTV footage at a nearby petrol station in the area, where he allegedly purchased petrol and went on to set the victim alight.

Mokgoro also thanked the police for the arrest of a 37-year-old man for the alleged murder of his 28-year-old partner whose burnt remains were found in her charred Mini Cooper this past weekend.

He further condemned the stabbing and murder a 34-year-old woman from Dibate village in Mahikeng this past Saturday, allegedly by her 36-year-old boyfriend.

African News Agency (ANA)