Three schoolboys on murder, rape charges

SUSPECTS: These three school boys were arrested yesterday at their different schools for the suspected rape and murder of 44-year-old Ntombikayise Mwelase last June in Jabulani. Pic. Munyadziwa Nemutudi. 11/02/08.
SUSPECTS: These three school boys were arrested yesterday at their different schools for the suspected rape and murder of 44-year-old Ntombikayise Mwelase last June in Jabulani. Pic. Munyadziwa Nemutudi. 11/02/08.

Sibongile Mashaba

Sibongile Mashaba

Three Soweto schoolboys were arrested yesterday in connection with the rape and murder of a 44-year-old woman on Youth Day last year.

The police in Jabulani arrested the boys, aged between 16 and 18, at their different schools - Goudveld Senior Secondary School in Langlaagte, Johannesburg, Letare High School and Jabulani Technical College.

The half-naked body of Ntombikayise Mwelase was discovered by her friend Phumla Zulu, 41, on June 17. Mwelase, who was separated from her husband, lived alone at the time.

Police said Mwelase had been raped and then strangled.

Inspector Kay Makhubela said that following the police investigation, a 17-year-old youth was eventually linked to Mwelase's case through fingerprints.

The 17-year-old has a pending case of housebreaking and theft in Meadowlands, police said.

A warrant for his arrest was issued after he failed to appear in court on several occasions. Makhubela said police swooped on the 17-year-old's school after he had initially resisted attempts by his parents to hand him over.

"The parents informed us where his school was and when we got there he told us who he was with on the day of the murder. He said he only raped the woman but did not kill her," Makhubela said.

The youths are expected to appear in the Protea magistrate's court today.

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