Police call for help after pensioner's body is found in a freezer

Mandla Khoza Freelance journalist
The police believe this woman, named MmaThato, can assist in the investigation after the body of an 80-year-old woman was found in a freezer.
The police believe this woman, named MmaThato, can assist in the investigation after the body of an 80-year-old woman was found in a freezer.
Image: Supplied

Police in Mpumalanga have launched a manhunt following the discovery of an 80- year-old woman's body in a freezer at Pankop near Mmamethlake. 

According to police, a caregiver who is from Lesotho can help in shedding light on the case. 

Police spokesperson in Mpumalanga, Brig Leonard Hlathi, said the pensioner was staying with her 10-year-old grandson and a Lesotho-born caregiver hired by the family to look after her. 

“The lifeless body of the old woman was found stashed inside a freezer on Monday. Preliminary investigation suggests that the victim was staying with her 10-year-old grandson as well as the caregiver believed to be from Lesotho, hired by the family to look after the granny. On Monday, the young boy came back from school only to find that there was nobody at home. He realised that the door to the house was wide open but the burglar door was locked. He then began to ask neighbours of the whereabouts of his granny and the caregiver. 

While searching, the neighbours became suspicious when they noticed a coffee table, gas stove and a TV set placed on top of the freezer. They then removed the items and discovered the lifeless body of the elderly woman inside the freezer,” said Hlathi. 

Hlathi said when the police and the medical personnel were called to the scene, they certified the woman dead.

“Police have since opened a murder case, police are appealing to the woman named MmaThato to immediately go to the nearest police station as they (police) believe that she can assist immensely in the investigation,” said Hlathi. 

He said members of the public who know MmaThato are also urged to kindly contact Detect-Capt Solomon Moshime at 082-065-1355 or call the Crime Stop number on 08600 10111. Alternatively, a tip-off can be given on the MySAPSApp that can be downloaded to any smartphone. All information will be treated as confidential and callers may opt to remain anonymous.

Meanwhile, a similar incident happened at Valbank, a few kilometres away from Mmamethlake, between March and September, where a 91-year-old pensioner was found to have been severely assaulted by a caregiver hired to look after her. 

“After the incident, the 45-year-old suspect fled the scene and the matter was brought to the attention of the police who opened a case of assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm (GBH). The suspect, believed to be also from Lesotho, was traced and arrested in Pretoria,” said Hlathi. 

He said the suspect was expected to appear in the Mbibana magistrate's court on Friday, October 16, where she is expected to apply for bail.

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