Suspect arrested in brutal murder of eight-year-old in Limpopo

The child was reportedly left in the care of the family member on Monday July 27, when she disappeared.
The child was reportedly left in the care of the family member on Monday July 27, when she disappeared.
Image: SUHAIB SALEM

Police in Limpopo have condemned the brutal murder of an eight- year-old girl who was earlier allegedly kidnapped by a close relative.

Provincial Police Commissioner Lieutenant - General Nneke Ledwaba has strongly condemned the brutal murder of an eight year old child, Mabareki California Molamudi, whose body was found in the bushes at Xipungu village in the early hours of this morning (Thursday).

Police spokesman Brigadier Motlafela Mojapelo said members of the Tzaneen Tracking Team (TTT) received the information last night that the suspect went to consult a Traditional Healer at Achornhoek in Mpumalanga and on arrival at about 01h30 this morning, the suspect was indeed found and arrested.

"Further investigations led the Team to an area next to the local Crèche at Xipungu village in Letsitele policing area outside Tzaneen, where the body was found in the bushes. Mojapelo said the suspect is a close relative to the child. The probe that was conducted at the scene suggested that the child might have been raped before she was murdered. This will be determined by forensic investigations that are unfolding," he said.

The child, who was a Grade 1 learner at Totwana Primary School at Xipungu village, was reportedly left with a caregiver, who is also a family member on Monday July 27, when she disappeared.

"Preliminary investigations conducted by the police revealed that the child was last seen in the company of the suspect, walking to a nearby shop. He later reportedly told some community members that the child was kidnapped by unknown men traveling in a Toyota Quantum, "added Mojapelo.

“We commend members of the Task Team that was assembled soon after the child went missing, for spending sleepless nights searching for both the child and the suspect. We also thank community members for continuing to work with us and providing valuable information that enables us to do our work”, General Ledwaba said.

The suspect, aged 34, will be charged with kidnapping, rape and murder. He is expected to appear in Ritavi magistrate court tomorrow. 

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