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Police make a breakthrough with an arrest of a prime suspect wanted in connection with brutal killings of five illegal miners in the Capricorn District

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

POLOKWANE: The Provincial Commissioner of the South African Police Service in Limpopo, Lieutenant General Thembi Hadebe hailed the outstanding work executed by the men and women in blue after apprehending and also managing to link a 25-year-old Lesotho National, Tumelo Motlaitlai, a prime suspect wanted in connection with the brutal murder of five Lesotho Nationals believed to be illegal miners in the Capricorn District.

The suspect was arrested together with his accomplices aged between 26 and 34 on Tuesday, 20 June 2023 at Afcolaco Filling Station under Maake policing precinct in the Mopani District after being found in possession of unlicensed firearms and large quantity of ammunition while heading to Mpumalanga Province driving in a white Toyota GD6 Bakkie.

The suspects who originate from Lesotho identified as Tumelo Motlaitlai (25), Joseph Mohape (34), Tebogo Makutwana (26), Barnard Sesioana (32) and one South African, Nelson Mavela aged 32 have already appeared before the Naphuno Magistrate court on Thursday 22 June 2023 and were remanded in Police Custody. Their case was postponed to next week Thursday 29 June 2023 for further Police investigations and bail application.

The Task Team members furthermore, discovered that a 25 year-old suspect who is also an illegal immigrant was positively linked with the brutal murder of the five men last year. The deceased were reportedly found with gunshot wounds at an abandoned mine at Bergeneck village outside Polokwane between 26 and 30 September 2022.

Tumelo Motlaitlai appeared before the Polokwane Magistrates Court facing charges of murder today on Friday 23 June 2023 and reportedly abandoned bail application and his case was postponed to 16 August 2023 for further Police investigations.

Police investigations are continuing.




Colonel Malesela Ledwaba

082 451 7180