Girl, 16, missing for two weeks

Tebogo Tshipi

The body of a 16-year-old Limpopo girl, believed to have been killed for muti, was found near her village at the weekend. She had been missing for two weeks.

Lesiba Mothoa, who is in police custody, allegedly raped and throttled Jahana Mothiba of Waschbank village in GaMaraba, west of Polokwane, before covering her with wood.

Mothiba had apparently been with her 20-year-old boyfriend from the same village when the incident took place.

The police charge sheet states that the boyfriend told them they had been together in some bushes a fortnight ago when they were confronted by Mothoa, who threatened them with a knife.

Mothiba and her boyfriend ran away from Mothoa in different directions.

Mothoa apparently told police that he chased Mothiba and caught her.

Inspector Mohlaka Mashiane, spokesman for the Seshego police, said the suspect told them he had then throttled Mothiba until she died.

It is suspected that the girl was raped before she was killed.

The suspect then allegedly covered her body with wood.

Mothoa allegedly told police that he had wanted to take Mothiba's body parts to a local sangoma, who would use them to make muti.

Mashiane said the body had been discovered by a local man who had taken his cattle to graze in the area.

He alerted community members, who in turn notified the police.

Mashiane said the body had been largely decomposed because of the length of time she had been dead and the fact that it had been extremely hot in the period since she had been missing.

"We are conducting a postmortem later this week, which will determine the actual cause of death," Mashiane said.

Mothoa appeared in the Seshego magistrates' court on Thursday on charges of kidnapping.

His case was remanded to November 20 to give police more time to conduct investigations.

Mashiane said the police had also learnt that Mothoa had recently been released on parole after serving seven years for a rape he committed in the GaMatlala area.

He said Mothoa's entire criminal record would be heard on November 20.

Mothoa was remanded in custody.