A 34-year-old man arrested in connection with the murders of seven women, whose bodies were found dumped in and around Polokwane in Limpopo, on Monday abandoned his bail application.
The suspect made a brief appearance at the Seshego Magistrates Court on multiple charges including kidnapping, murder, rape, defeating the ends of justice and robbery.
During his appearance in court, the man – who has not yet been identified – confirmed that he is a Zimbabwean national and that he was in South Africa illegally.
He told the court that he wanted to tell the truth about his alleged crimes and said he doesn’t want legal assistance from legal aid.
The bail hearing was attended by non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and several community members – including the Minister in the Presidency for Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities Maite Nkoana-Mashabane and Limpopo social development MEC Nkakareng Rakgoale – who called for the court not to release the suspect on bail.
According to Limpopo police, the suspect was initially arrested for possession of a suspected stolen cellphone which police later established, through investigations, that it belonged to a woman who was kidnapped in Lebowakgomo last month.
Police investigations soon led to the discoveries of the seven bodies of women dumped at different locations in Seshego, Polokwane, Mankweng and Westenburg.
The victims were positively identified by their next of kin but police said forensic investigations were underway to conclusively determine the bodies’ identities.
It’s understood that the suspect lured his victims with the promise of giving them jobs.
The following victims were identified by police:
- Sarah Moitswadi Mathiba, 42, who was reportedly kidnapped at Lebowakgomo in October.
2. Lesotho national, Moleboheng Mothibeli, 34, was reported missing in Polokwane in October.
3. Eva Khomotso Makhura, 41, was reported missing at Seshego in October.
4. Mpho Sanah Sinyatsi, 34, was reported missing in October from Luthuli Park Extension 9L, under the Seshego policing area.
5. Andrea Cholo, 25, was reported kidnapped in Seshego during September.
6. Chisimango Gumbo, 48, a foreign national who was reported missing in Seshego during August.
7. Jane Letswalo, 42, whose body was found next to Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane during August.
Police investigations were continuing to determine if the suspect could possibly be linked to other cases.
Police have appealed to anyone who might have a family member missing around Seshego, Mankweng, Lebowakgomo, Polokwane and surrounding areas to contact the investigating officer, Warrant Officer Joel Seroka, on 083-1010-499/079-994-3353 or their nearest police station.
Compiled by Thapelo Lekabe