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No foul play in Mthwalume murder suspect's suicide‚ says Cele

Police minister Bheki Cele.
Police minister Bheki Cele.

The Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) has concluded there was no foul play regarding the alleged suicide of the prime suspect in the murders of five KwaZulu-Natal women.

This was revealed by police minister Bheki Cele when he addressed the media near Mthwalume‚ on the Kwa-Zulu-Natal south coast‚ on Wednesday.

“We have received a report from Ipid which confirms he did commit suicide and shows there was no recklessness from the police.”

The community of Mthwalume has been left reeling in the wake of a series of murders believed to be the work of 41-year-old petrol attendant Mduduzi “Mafutha” Khomo.

Khomo allegedly confessed to the murders of Akhona Gumede‚ 25‚ Nosipho Gumede‚ 16‚ Neliswe Dube‚ 22‚ Zama Chiliza‚ 38‚ and an unidentified woman in her 20s.

The women's bodies were found dumped in sugar cane fields in Mthwalume. Their deaths date between April and this month.

Cele said the five were among 14 women reported missing in the area. All the women except one have been accounted for.

“Fourteen is the number reported to the police station‚ including the people who have been picked up. The police have one outstanding case where we haven't managed to pick up the body or find out where that person is.”

Cele said roadblocks in the area started on Monday night and resulted in the arrests of nine people‚ including three rape suspects.

“ The three rape suspects include a 40-year-old arrested in connection with the rape an eight-year-old. Others were arrested for robberies and theft‚” he said.

The minister said police could not rule out the possibility of more arrests in connection with the Mthwalume murders.

“We have not established if there is any other person we can pursue in this matter. One was released due to a lack of evidence.”

The Sunday Times reported that Gcina “Sbuh” Njilo had been wrongfully arrested and detained by police regarding the murders. Njilo and Khomo had both worked for the local fuel station in Mthwalume.

He said he was living in fear after his arrest as police had not helped him to clear his name.


Source: ARENA Holdings.

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