EDITORIAL NOTE: A different headline was initially used on this story in which the suspect was referred to as an “illegal Zimbabwean national”. The description had no relevance to the content. SABC News has updated the story accordingly.
Police say the 34-year-old man in Limpopo has been linked to the disappearance and killing of seven women between August and October this year.
The bodies were discovered in different locations in Seshego, Polokwane, Mankweng and Westernburg.
All the deceased have been positively identified by their next of kin. The suspect allegedly lured his victims by promising them jobs through social media.
Police say the suspect had earlier been arrested for the alleged possession of a suspected stolen cellphone but further investigations revealed the murders.
The bodies were found dumped in the bush.
Brigadier Motlafela Mojapelo says: We have arrested a 34-year-old suspect whom we believe to be responsible for a series of murders whose victims were all women. We can confirm that seven bodies have already been recovered from different locations under Seshego, Polokwane and western policing areas. The suspect is being charged with murder, rape, defeating the ends of justice and robbery.”
The bereaved Mothiba family at Ga-Chuene village is one of the seven families which lost loved ones in the hands of the suspect.
The family says 42-year-old Sarah Mothiba was last seen leaving home for work in Polokwane on the 18th of last month.
The suspect demanded R2 500 ransom, promising to release Mothiba.
Family spokesperson Violet Rakoma-Mothiba says: “We are unable to accept what happened, he tricked us and made us pay ransom money promising to release Sarah. He stole cash that Sarah had, he withdrew her money at the bank and made the family pay ransom money and ended up killing her.”
The family believes the suspect was not working alone.
The deceased’s husband John Mothiba says: “We are hurt, justice must prevail. He must disclose the names of the people he was working with; I don’t believe he was alone in this crime. I hope the police can also help to make him disclose the names.”
The suspect, who is facing multiple charges, is expected to appear before the Seshego Magistrate’s court on Monday.