Suspect in body parts case still under police surveillance at Soweto hospital

Image: SAPS

File image depicting handcuffs and police lights.

The 27-year-old man that was arrested at a house in Protea Glen, Soweto, is still under police guard at a local hospital. The man was arrested after bags of frozen body parts were discovered in a fridge in a room he rents in the area.

According to police, the suspect’s partner discovered the body parts after he had left to go shopping. The suspect is expected to appear at the Protea Magistrate’s Court early this week.

What was meant to be a quiet, relaxing weekend in Protea Glen turned into one filled with dismay.

Residents have been left reeling after the dreadful discovery. The 27-year-old suspect had his partner over for the weekend. On Saturday morning, he left her to buy a few grocery items. During his absence, the girlfriend, who is believed to be a student at the University of Johannesburg, opened the freezer and uncovered bags containing body parts. Screaming and traumatised, she fled to neighbour Sarah Marumole for solace and comfort.

“This young lady had come to my gate, we let her in. She told us that she had seen body parts, speaking about a hand that she found in the freezer. The lady who found the body parts were traumatised, she was shaking, vomiting. When my husband came, he heard the story and he alerted the other neighbours via our community WhatsApp group.”

Police confirm arrest after body parts discovered in Soweto resident’s fridge: 

One of the neighbours was an off-duty police officer. They gathered outside the suspect’s flat, waiting for him to return home. Another neighbour, Joel Botlhoko opened the plastic bag, only to find a human arm. He says they were horrified by the discovery.

“As we came to this house, the suspect was coming from the spaza shop. His car was parked right here. He reversed and opened the gate. Oupa is a policeman, he advised him that he has information that you have human body parts in your flat, can we come in and see. As he was about to open the door, he was reluctant. Oupa said, can you open the fridge and he then was saying he doesn’t know anything. So I opened the plastic that’s when I saw, this is a human hand.”

Meanwhile, the community remains concerned about the long period of time it took for help to arrive. Another neighbour Mpho Mokoaqa says, while they waited hours for police to arrive, the suspect stabbed himself.

“Our neighbour is a police officer. He couldn’t get through to the police station, he had to get someone high ranking. When the guys got here after 2.5 hours, they said they were phoned by someone else to come help. Number 2 – the ambulance was phoned but came 4 hours later which is a big problem. When we followed up, we found that this area only has 2 ambulances.”

The suspect was later taken to hospital, where he remains under police guard. The community of Protea Glen has many unanswered questions: Who did the hand belong to? Who killed the person or persons? And what exactly was the motive?”

 Brigadier Brenda Muridili speaks to SABC News about the incident:

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