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Village 'terrorist' in court

Image: 123RF/stockstudio44

The man whose grandmother was hacked to death for allegedly protecting him has been arrested and faces two charges of rape.

Provincial police spokesperson Captain Mmaphaswa Seabi said Lester Malatji was arrested last Wednesday and appeared in the GaKgapane magistrate's court the next day.

"He is facing two cases of rape. His case has been postponed to June," Seabi said.

Malatji's arrest came after community members circulated his pictures on social media, accusing him of terrorising the community of Ga-Motupa and neighbouring villages.

According to a community member who wished to remain anonymous, Malatji was arrested after he called the police to come and fetch him from his hideout.

"He was in hiding in Ga-Matipane village. There is no longer fear among community members because he has been arrested.

"We were afraid to walk in the streets at night because we did not know what time he would attack," he said.

The resident said Malatji had been robbing and raping people regardless of their gender.

Police said investigations were continuing and appealed to victims to come forward.

His alleged crimes cost his grandmother her life.

The 70-year-old woman from Mopye village in Bolobedu South, outside Tzaneen, was dragged out of her house and taken to the nearby Morutji village where she was later assaulted and hacked to death by a mob last week.

Residents accused the grandmother of bragging about how the community and police would not find her grandson because she had given him "strong muti to evade arrest".

Malatji was arrested two days after his grandmother was killed and her naked and bloodied body found on the side of the road.

Seabi said no arrests had been made regarding the grandmother's death and police investigations are continuing.

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