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Missing teacher found stabbed to death in the veld

North West teacher Oupa Isaac Tlhapi was kidnapped and killed allegedly by people known to him in Wolmaranstad. / supplied
North West teacher Oupa Isaac Tlhapi was kidnapped and killed allegedly by people known to him in Wolmaranstad. / supplied

A North West teacher has been found dead with several stab wounds after he went missing a week ago.

Gontse Primary School teacher Oupa Isaac Tlhapi, 44, of Wolmaranstad, was last seen going to a local pub on Thursday and never returned.

His naked body was found in an open field between Wolmaranstad and Leeudoringstad on Monday.

His family believes that the people who killed him wanted to hijack his new car which he bought two weeks before his death.

Tlhapi's brother Joe said the car was found abandoned in Soweto, Gauteng.

"Police managed to find the suspects with the help of a CCTV from the pub and one of the people who drove off with my brother was someone who was known to him," he said.

On Friday Tlhapi's friend and colleague Mothupi Meje reported a missing person's case at the local police station and alerted his family in the Free State.

On Saturday Tlhapi's family received a call from the police to say they had found Tlhapi's car in Phiri, Soweto.

"I rushed to Gauteng but he was not there. The car had blood all over. Most of the blood was seen on the driver's seat.

"I suspect they might have stabbed him with a sharp object while he was driving," Meje said.

The police on Saturday arrested one of the three men who was last seen entering the car with him at the pub.

Joe said the suspect then led police to a scene where they had dumped his brother's body.

"He was naked. He had only his socks on. They dumped him not far from the main road and his body looked like it was burnt by the sun," he said.

"He had a wife and a child. They are traumatised by what happened."

Meje said Tlhapi was a person who loved music. "On the Thursday he disappeared he was preparing for a choir competition which was supposed to happen on Saturday."

He said Tlhapi had been a teacher for more than 15 years.

North West police spokesperson Col Adele Myburgh said two men, Tshepang Leteane, 23 and Nkululeko Kraai, 38, were arrested.

"Police investigation led to the arrest of the two accused on Sunday. The naked body of Tlhapi was discovered with multiple stab wounds along the Leeudoringstad road," Myburgh said.

She said a case of murder, kidnapping and hijacking was opened. The two will appear again before the Wolmaranstad magistrate's court on Monday.

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