President Cyril Ramaphosa has called upon the South African Police Service (SAPS) to intensify the manhunt for the killer of 21-year-old Limpopo student Precious Ramabulana, and to ensure the perpetrator is apprehended and brought to book swiftly.
Ramabulana was stabbed to death over the weekend, Limpopo police confirmed on Monday, News24 reported. Fellow students and friends of Ramabulana took to social media in grief and anger after hearing she had apparently been stabbed 52 times in the room where she was staying.
"The savagery inflicted on this young woman ... points to a level of depravity that is beyond the comprehensible," Ramaphosa said in a statement on Wednesday.
"We are horrified at yet another killing of an innocent woman, and we are angry, this simply cannot go on," Ramaphosa said.
Limpopo police spokesperson Brigadier Motlafela Mojapelo confirmed the 21-year-old was attacked by an unknown person and "brutally stabbed to death" at around 02:30 on Sunday.
"It is alleged that the deceased was asleep in her rented room at ga-Joel Section in Mokomene when the suspect gained entry through the window and started attacking her. He then stabbed her several times and fled the scene," he said.
"The deceased's frantic screams were heard by the neighbour who called the police. On arrival, her body was found in a pool of blood with several stab wounds. The motive for the attack is unknown at this stage."
Mojapelo could not confirm reports that she had also been raped.
Ramaphosa has directed Police Minister Bheki Cele to avail all the necessary resources to support local police in the search for the killer.
"Whoever committed this brutal act must know that there is no corner for you to hide. You will be found, you will be tried, and you will receive the highest penalty," Ramaphosa said.