Father faces murder charge on Valentine’s Day after gruesome find

Just hours before President Cyril Ramaphosa spoke about government efforts to curb gender-based violence (GBV) and femicide, school pupils led police to the body of a brutally murdered young mother.

School pupils alerted police to the discovery of the woman’s body.
Image: 123RF/jhandersen

The 20-year-old woman’s bloodied body was discovered on Thursday next to a school in Calcutta in Bushbuckridge, Mpumalanga.

A 25-year-old man, the father of her two-year-old daughter, has been arrested.

Police were alerted by the pupils after they made the gruesome discovery.

“The members then went to a place next to Chayaza Secondary School where they discovered the body. The clothes she was wearing were covered in blood. Medical personnel arrived at the scene where she was certified dead,” said police spokesperson Brig Selvy Mohlala.

“A murder case was opened, as the preliminary investigation suggested foul play. A manhunt was launched for the suspect/s. The investigation led members to the father of her two-year-old daughter.”

Ramaphosa, speaking at the state of the nation address on Thursday evening, said the government was intensifying the fight against GBV and femicide through the implementation of a national strategic plan and other measures to promote the empowerment of women.

“Earlier this month, I signed into law three new pieces of legislation, which have strengthened the criminal justice system, promoting accountability across the state and supporting survivors. The implementation of this legislation will go a long way to ensuring cases are successfully prosecuted, that survivors are protected and there are more effective deterrents in place.

“However, the fight against GBV will never be won unless, as a society, we mobilise all formations and all citizens behind a sustained programme of social action.”

During the arrest of the suspect, police found an item believed to belong to the young mother.

“Police also found clothes with blood stains at the place where they arrested the suspect. The investigators seized an item they believe might be the weapon used in the murder. All confiscated items will form part of the investigation,” said Mohlala.

The suspect is due to appear in the Mkhuhlu magistrate’s court on Monday, Valentine’s Day.

TimesLIVE (TMG Digital)

Kgaugelo Masweneng

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