Dumb man helps cops to track down the killer of a woman

Riot Hlatswayo

Riot Hlatswayo

A couple who were preparing for a walk down the aisle had their dream shattered on Wednesday when the bride was shot dead and the groom left fighting for his life in hospital.

It all started when a police inspector from Ermelo apparently snapped and bundled his fiancée into his bakkie and drove to a secluded spot at Emzinoni, near Bethal in Mpumalanga.

There he dragged the woman out of the bakkie and pumped five bullets into her body, killing her instantly.

The suspect drove away unaware that a silent spectator had witnessed the brutal murder of the woman, who has been identified as Eunice Makhato, 35, an assistant director at Bethal Prison.

The unidentified mute rushed from the scene to alert nearby villagers about the crime. When they arrived the suspect had already left.

The dumb man, however, managed to help police to track down the killer.

"He used sign language to describe the suspect's vehicle and also provided us with the registration numbers of the vehicle. We circulated the information and later established that the bakkie belonged to a police inspector in Ermelo," said Mpumalanga police spokesman Superintendent Abie Khoabane.

He said police drove to the suspect's home. When they were about to enter the house the police inspector pulled out his service revolver and shot himself in the head.

He was rushed to the local clinic in a critical condition.

Khoabane confirmed that the couple were about to get married. Police did not know the motive behind the killing.

He said the suspect will face charges of murder as soon as he recuperates.

Khoabane lauded the mute for assisting the police in such an amazing manner.

He said the community must follow his example and help the police in their fight against crime.

"He cannot speak and uses sign language but he was able to help us in an unbelievable manner to crack the case," said Khoabane.

He also urged members of the police to use structures in place to help them with stress-related problems. "They don't have to kill others or take their own lives."