Mpumalanga man arrested for killing, raping girls aged 6 and 7

A 22-year-old is behind bars after two young girls were found murdered in a ditch.
A 22-year-old is behind bars after two young girls were found murdered in a ditch.
Image: 123RF/Sakhorn Saengtongsamarnsin

Mpumalanga police arrested a 22-year-old man on Tuesday for allegedly murdering two young girls, whose bodies were found in a ditch in the Mganduzweni Trust in Masoyi last month.

The girls were aged 6 and 7. The arrest comes after members of the community last month set a local pastor and his nephew alight for the crime in an act of mob justice.

“The two girls had last been seen the previous day, April 23 2019, playing near their parental home. Contrary to popular belief by some community members at the time that some body parts were missing, no single body part was found to be missing except for the fact that the younger girl had allegedly been raped,” police spokesperson Col Mtsholi Bhembe said in a media statement on Thursday.

“Subsequent to that, a sangoma was then reportedly consulted by members of the community, who in turn falsely accused two men, a local pastor and his nephew, as the ones responsible for the siblings’ demise. After the consultation, the community soon burnt the two men to death and torched their houses as well in an apparent act of vigilantism.”

Bhembe said the suspect was reportedly related to the girls and claimed that he had placed them in someone else’s care.

“If the information by the suspect is found to be true after verification, then that means the pastor and his nephew, aged 36 and 24 respectively, were killed for no apparent reason at all,” Bhembe said.

The suspect also allegedly murdered Khensani Sambo, 20, who went missing on March 26 at Shabalala Trust, near Hazyview.

“He (the suspect) pointed out the place where the body had been dumped and indeed it was found, albeit at an advanced stage of decomposition. On the very same day after the police had left, some community members burnt the suspect’s house down, hence an arson case is also being investigated,” Bhembe said.

The suspect has since appeared in the Kabokweni magistrate’s court for the murder of Sambo. He will remain behind bars until his next court appearance on June 5.

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