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2024/02/26      |  Written By:  Lieutenant Colonel A Funani   |   Province:  North West

POTCHEFSTROOM: 25 February 2024 – Makapanstad Police arrested seven suspects, aged between 20 and 36, between Monday, 19 and Saturday, 24 February 2024, for the alleged murder of a 32-year-old Solomon Moopane . The suspects’ arrest came after a missing person report was made at Makapanstad Police station on Sunday, 18 February 2024.

According to information received,  the victim and his friend were seen drinking at a certain tavern in Maubane on Saturday night  17 February 2024, and the suspects were also enjoying themselves in the same tavern when they had a quarrel. Moopane left the tavern, driving in a black Volkswagen Golf and the suspects were seen assaulting his friend and left with him. The victim’s friend was assaulted by the suspects and put inside of the boot of the vehicle that they were driving, and he managed to escape. Sunday, 18 February 2024, morning he  went to check on Moopane and did not find him at his home and he went to open a docket of a missing person. Police and members of the community searched for the missing person, without any success, but the black VW golf that he was driving was discovered burnt in the bushes. 

On Monday, 19 February 2022, one suspects was traced and arrested by the police and he appeared in court on Wednesday, 20 February 2024. On Wednesday, two more suspects were arrested and Friday, 23 February 2024,  three  more suspect were arrested, and the missing person docket was changed to murder. The victim’s decomposed body was found buried  in a shallow grave on top of another grave in the cemetery. The seventh suspect handed himself to the police on Saturday, 24 February 2024. More charges such as two counts of Kidnapping, Malicious damage to property, assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm (GBH), Defeating the ends of justice, Unlawful Possession of a firearm, Carjacking and Violation of a grave were added. The suspects are expected to appear before Themba Magistrates Court on Monday, 26 February 2024.

The Provincial Police Commissioner, Lieutenant General Sello Kwena, condemned the incident and asked members of the community to solve their differences in an amicable manner in stead of resorting to violence. He also applauded the community for assisting the police in searching for the victim.