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Murder suspect arrested six months after he went into hiding

Media Statement
South African Police Service
Office of the Provincial Commissioner Mpumalanga


NELSPRUIT - An intense police investigation after the gruesome murder of a 34 year old Nosipho Caroline Mthombeni whose severe decomposed body was found concealed in a ceiling six months ago, had a positive ending.

Police in Balfour arrested 40-year-old Thabo Silas Tsotetsi who went missing after the body was discovered in a ceiling of the house he occupied in Balfour.

The discovery was made after the suspect's baby mama moved in with the suspect a month earlier.

The baby mama alleged that she kept on complaining about the bad odour in the house, but Tsotetsi made her to believe that the odour comes from the dead rats.

On 4 October 2022, the lady decided to report the matter to the police as she was uncomfortable, police came to investigate. Upon thorough investigation in the house, police found a human body which was severe decomposition stage in such a way that it was even difficult to determine its gender. Police finally had a lead due to the victim's shoes as well as the nail polish.

It was also established that Tsotetsi disappeared three days before the discovery as he reported to his baby mama that he was going to pay his accounts and never came back.

Police intensified their investigation which led to the arrest of Tsotetsi on Friday, 14 April 2023 in Witbank.

Tsotetsi made a brief court appearance in Balfour Magistrate's Court yesterday, 17 April 2023.

He was remanded in custody and the matter was postponed to 17 May 2023 for further investigation.

The Provincial Commissioner of the SAPS in Mpumalanga, Lieutenant General Semakaleng Daphney Manamela has welcomed the arrest and commended the investigation team for bringing the suspect to book.


Brigadier Selvy Mohlala
071 353 6955