Rape suspect in court

Riot Hlatshwayo

Riot Hlatshwayo

A man wearing bloodstained clothing briefly appeared before a magistrate's court in Mpumalanga on Friday charged with rape and murder.

Twenty-four-year-old Sampie Radebe was not asked to plead when he appeared in the Balfour magistrate's court.

The court remanded him in custody until January 21.

The postponement was also to allow detectives to conduct further investigations.

Radebe's arrest followed the discovery of a 24-year-old woman's body in a quarry at Siyatemba township near Balfour on New Year's Day at about 10am.

Mpumalanga police spokesman Superintendent Abie Khoabane told Sowetan that three used condoms with semen were found next to the victim's semi-naked body.

He said her head had been crushed apparently with the bloodstained rocks that were found about 15 metres away from the body. A passer-by who found the corpse called the local police to the scene.

"We suspect that the woman was raped and murdered while many people were celebrating New Year during the night," said Khoabane.

Balfour station commissioner Superintendent Delisiwe Majola and Constable Moeketsi Letsoko later received information about the whereabouts of a possible suspect.

Khoabane said the two police officers went to a house in Siyatemba and found Radebe wearing bloodstained clothes on Wednesday morning.

Radebe could not give a reason for his clothes stained with blood and the police arrested him after linking him to the crime.

Khoabane said forensic investigators took samples from the suspect's bloodstained clothes for comparison with blood samples from the victim, identified as Dina Mzotho.