16 November 2012

South Africa: Minors Arrested for Murder of Three Mookgopong Children

Pretoria — Limpopo police on Thursday arrested six suspects, aged between 12 and 14 years, for the murder of three children in Mookgopong in August.

Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi said police were able to make the major breakthrough in cracking the case following an intensive investigation.

He said the six suspects, who are all residents of Mookgopong, were arrested in Phomolong Section.

"They will appear before the Mookgopong Magistrate's Court on Friday, facing three charges of murder and rape," said Mulaudzi.

The bodies of siblings Bafana Kekana (nine) Richard Kekana (10) and Johanna Kekana (12) were found by a passer-by between 9th Street and Constantia Resort in August.

Mulaudzi said heavy, bloodied stones were found next to their bodies, which were all tied with shoelaces and covered by tree branches. Investigation revealed that Johanna was raped before she was killed.

The deceased children were reported missing after they failed to return to the Montadi Youth Care Centre where they lived following social workers' recommendations.

MEC for Safety, Security and Liaison Fulufhelo Radzilani has commended the police.

"We promised the community of Mookgopong that we will leave no stone unturned in finding the perpetrators and today we are happy that justice will prevail," Radzilani said on Thursday.

The Provincial Commissioner of Limpopo Lt Gen Simon Mpembe was quick to point out that the police did not neglect the importance of the case, but were busy exhausting all the avenues to get to the bottom of the matter.

"We have a job to keep our communities safe and with this arrest, we have assured the people of Mookgopong and the entire province that the police are out in full force and the criminals' reign of terror has passed its sell-by date," Mpembe said.

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