By Nyeleti Ngobeni
A man linked to the kidnapping and murder of an 8-year old girl in Xipungu village was traced and arrested in the house of a traditional healer in Acornhoek, Mpumalanga.
Members of the Tzaneen Tracking Team (TTT) received information about the whereabouts of a suspect accused of brutally murdering the 8-year old, Mabereki California Molamudi, whose body was found in the bushes of Xipungu Village in the early hours of Thursday, 30 July 2020.
After the child was reported missing, police investigations led the TTT to an area next to a local crèche at Xipungu village in Letsitele policing area outside Tzaneen where the body was found. Based on preliminary findings at the scene, it appears that the child might have been raped before she was murdered, though this will be confirmed by forensic investigation currently underway.
The child who was attending grade 1 at Totwana Primary School at Xipungu village was left with a caregiver, who is also a family member on Monday 27 July 2020, when she suddenly went missing. Investigation done by police indicate that Mabereki was last seen in the company of the suspect walking to a nearby shop. The suspect later told some community members that the child was kidnapped by an unknown man traveling in a Toyota Quantum.
The Provincial Police Commissioner, General Nneke Ledwaba strongly condemned the brutal murder of the young girl. “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 enabled us to work,” concluded General Ledwaba. The suspect, aged 34 will be charged with kidnapping, rape and murder. He will appear at Ritavi Magistrate court on 31 July 2020.