Luck finally ran out for a Welkom teenager suspected of killing and dismembering the body of a young woman in Welkom last week in what is believed to be a muti-related killing, after his parents handed him over to the police on Tuesday.
The 19-year-old college student was expected to make a first court appearance yesterday, but it’s not yet clear how his parents got to know he was responsible for the gruesome killing
The young woman, who has been identified as Naledi Arcelia Lethoba, 21, from Bothaville, was a student at the Goldfields TVET College in Welkom. She was positively identified by her parents on Friday last week at the Welkom Pathology Services.
The body was discovered by a passerby in an open field near the corner of Buren and Arrarat roads in Dagbreek, a suburb in the mining town, about 160km from Bloemfontein. She was found with a knife stuck in her neck, both breasts had been cut off and had burn wounds on her lower body and face.
Police spokesperson Captain Stephen Thakeng said in a telephone interview last week that the manner in which the woman was killed was quite unusual and were not ruling out the possibility of killing for muti.
“The manner in which the woman was killed is quite an isolated incident,” said Thakeng soon after the body was found.
He noted the police had launched an intensive investigation into the matter because they wanted to get to the bottom of it as soon as possible.
“We don’t want to speculate. The woman was found with a knife stuck in her neck, so we have to establish what happened and who did it. We cannot rule out the aspect of muti killing given that her breasts were cut off. We are looking at different possibilities,” he added at that time.
The Welkom Cluster Commander Major General Lerato Molale welcomed the arrest of the student and applauded the investigation team led by Detective Sergeant Tsie Matlokotsi for a thorough investigation which led to the arrest.
Muti killings are said to involve the murder of someone in order to excise body parts for incorporation as ingredients into medicine and concoctions used in witchcraft.
It is however yet to be established if the killing was muti-related, a revenge killing or just common criminality.