Sat Oct 22 21:57:13 SAST 2016

Massive hunt for 'killer' of family

By unknown | May 05, 2009 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Alex Matlala

Alex Matlala

Police and members of the community braved the cold winter weather and spent sleepless nights searching for a man who allegedly set a house alight and burnt eight people to death in Limpopo on Sunday morning.

Joined by members of the community who are tired of crime, police searched every corner of the province, including in the Kruger National Park, with sniffer dogs for the man.

A large number of police officers was dispatched yesterday along the Limpopo River that divides South Africa and Mozambique but still there was no trace of the suspect.

This after police were tipped off that the man suspected to have committed the crime on eight Nukeri family members was originally from Mozambique.

The man, Thomas Nukeri, who is reportedly in his early 50s, came to South Africa illegally. Nukeri is alleged to have settled at Mageva village near Giyani where he married the deceased, Elisabeth Mathebula, 44.

The couple was married under common law and was blessed with five children. They all died with their mother in the blazing fire.

Giyani police spokesperson Thomas Makhubele said they suspect Nukeri could have gone back to his home country after the incident for fear of being arrested.

Makhubele also said attempts to contact police in Mozambique proved fruitless because they said there was no sign of him.

The couple's relationship starting hitting the rocks when Nukeri allegedly became self-centered, jealous and a control freak.

None of the previous incidents of abuse, including kicking her when she was heavily pregnant, were reported, according to the police in Giyani.

"Had the incidents been reported, we would have made sure that he was locked up behind bars for a very long time.

"We encourage our people to report any incidents of violence or crime to the police in order to prevent the situation from escalating," said Makhubele.

The funeral for the eight deceased would probably be conducted some time this week.

At the time of going to press, bereaved family members were locked in meetings to discuss funeral arrangements.


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