Novice Mathebula from Polokwane, Limpopo, who was initially arrested for the alleged kidnapping of a 16-year-old has been charged with her murder after her positively identified body.
According to a SAPS statement, Mathebula (21) allegedly kidnapped the teen at a local tavern on Christmas Day. The body of Matimu Xolani Timbane was found dumped in the Nsami River on 29 December.
“Preliminary police investigations revealed that the deceased… was last seen in the company of the suspect on 25 December 2020 under the circumstances that bordered on kidnapping,” said police spokesperson, Brigadier Motlafela Mojapelo.
The teen was reported missing on 29 December. After launching a search operation for both the suspect and the teen, Mathebula was found and apprehended by police in Johannesburg on Tuesday.
He then appeared in court on Thursday, facing charges of kidnapping. However, after the family positively identified Timbane’s body, Mathebula will now face an additional charge of murder.
The case was remanded to 13 January for further police investigations.
Commissioner of police in Limpopo, Lieutenant General Nneke Ledwaba said, “This arrest attests to our resolve as members of the SAPS that there will be no limits when hunting down perpetrators of heinous crimes such as this.”
“I must, however, urge our communities, especially parents and guardians to speedily report missing persons to the police and not wait for some days before doing so.”
Investigations into how Timbane was murdered is still ongoing.