Murder suspect on the run ... four months later

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The family of a Limpopo woman who was strangled and burnt to death, allegedly by her boyfriend, has now taken matters into their own hands by assisting police to arrest the suspect.

The Betha family of GaMashashane has hired a private investigator to locate and apprehend the suspect who has been on the run for more than four months. The man has allegedly been on the run since his girlfriend, Itumeleng Betha, was found burnt beyond recognition at her parents' home during Women's Month.

Betha's neighbours told police after the incident that they saw her boyfriend running out of the house and later saw smoke coming from the windows.

The deceased's sister Maggie told Sunday World the family decided to hire a private investigator because they were not happy with the progress made by police.

 "It's been four months now and they are still telling us the same thing. That's why we decided to get someone to assist them," Maggie said.

The sister said the family was unhappy because of the information they received that police officials were showered with buckets of KFC, allegedly by the suspect, to buy his freedom.

"Immediately after we got the information, we realised that we can't rely on them. They told us that he [the suspect] called them and said he was going to hand himself over, but he never did. It's clear that the police are failing."

 Police spokesman Moatshe Ngoepe said they are still looking for the boyfriend.

"The police are still looking for the murder suspect who resides in My Darling, Senwabarwana. He is still being wanted for questioning for the murder of his girlfriend at Mashashane in August 2017. It is alleged that he murdered the deceased and burnt her before fleeing," said Ngoepe.

Ngoepe confirmed that the suspect had duped the police, telling them he was going to hand himself over, but did not show up at he police station.

"After realising that the police are on his trail, he called through his legal representative in September promising to hand himself to the police, but he never did. Police investigations are ongoing."

Sunday World reported two months ago that Police Minister Fikile Mbalula had ordered an investigation into the case to determine the reasons behind the police's failure to apprehend the suspect despite knowing about his whereabouts. Mbalula also ordered a probe into allegations that the suspect had given officers at Mashashane police station buckets of KFC to sweep the case under the carpet.

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