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SAPS investigation into Palesa Malatjiā€™s Murder

Media Statement
South African Police Service

Office of the Provincial Commissioner of Gauteng

PARKTOWN: The Management of the South African Police Service has noted with concern the reports in the media regarding the police’s failure to assist the family of the murdered Palesa Malatji on 25 May 2023.

Upon preliminary investigation into the said allegations, the Station Commander of Rietgat has established that the deceased’s mother and uncle came to Phuthanong police contact point, which is a satellite for SAPS Rietgat at around 20:00.

The family requested the police at the Community Service Centre (CSC) to accompany them in their search for their missing daughter. It is alleged that the police officers on duty told the family that they were not able to assist. This is in contrary to the process that the police should follow when a missing person is reported, especially a minor.

The family then left the police station and came back less than an hour later. It is during this time that the police officers registered a missing persons’ complaint and then accompanied the family to search for Palesa. Unfortunately the search ended with the discovery of Palesa’s lifeless body at the bushes near a primary school.

All the necessary resources were mobilised to the crime scene including Forensic Services, Biology K9, Detectives as well as Missing Persons Investigators to comb the crime scene for exhibits and to track any biological samples. The Provincial Commander of Crime Investigation Services thereafter convened a team of detectives that have compiled an investigation plan. The team which is working around the clock and following all leads in order to crack the case, has so far brought in six persons of interest for interviews.

The Station Commander of Rietgat has started with necessary procedure to institute an internal disciplinary process for the members that allegedly failed to provide a service to the family of Palesa Malatji. Omitting to perform services needed by the community is seen as a serious offence as it brings the Service into disrepute.

The Provincial Commissioner of the Police in Gauteng has strongly condemned the laxity of the members that were present at the Phuthanong CSC when the family initially came to report the complaint. “We do not have a room for any complicity when it comes to providing services to our vulnerable groups. Children have a right to be and feel safe. We will deal decisively with those that are found guilty for failing to do their job,” said Lt Gen Mawela.

The public is encouraged to report any service complaints against the SAPS:

0800 333 177 Head Office toll free
082 442 2000 Gauteng Standby
082 759 2590 WhatsApp


Media Enquiries:
Brigadier Brenda Muridili
071 686 9425