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Provincial Commissioner thanks all operatives involved in the retrieval of the body of Refiloe Malope from a mine shaft

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

POLOKWANE - The Provincial Commissioner of Police in Limpopo, Lieutenant General Thembi Hadebe has thanked and appreciated the cooperation of all the operatives that were involved in the retrieval of 31-year-old Refiloe Malope’s body from a mine shaft in Benoni during the afternoon of Monday, 27 June 2022.

The operation, comprising of the Gauteng Search and Rescue Units of the South African Police Service from Benoni, Tshwane, Sedibeng, Westrand K9 and Tshwane K9 Units, Ekhuruleni and Tshwane Municipality Disaster Teams, the Limpopo Provincial Organized Crime Unit, Provincial Crime Scene Investigation and Hlogotlou Detectives, resumed with the retrieval efforts from 09:00 this morning. After four hours, the body was brought to the ground and that’s when it was positively identified as that of the missing Malope.

Another unidentified body was also retrieved from the same mine shaft and investigations are underway to determine the identity and the cause of death.

On Friday 24 June 2022, the search was halted after the body was spotted at the bottom of the shaft with the use of a special camera. The retrieval required specialised equipment that had to be sourced.

“Our search efforts led us to Gauteng province and we hope that the recovery of Malope’s remains will bring closure to the family as much as it strengthens our case against the accused,” said Lieutenant General Hadebe.

“I extend my appreciation to all the teams that were involved in this challenging task and thank them for their cooperation, especially the Gauteng Search and Rescue Units which were led and coordinated by the Provincial Head of Rapid Response Services, Brigadier Samuel Killian.” concluded Lieutenant General Hadebe.

Meanwhile the accused, identified as Sergeant Thabo Letudi Moses Mokoana (40) attached to Benoni Police station and Modirelwa Maxwell Mokoana (42) will appear again before the Nebo Magistrate’s Court on Thursday 30 June 2022, for formal bail application. They are facing charges of kidnapping, murder and defeating the ends of justice.


Brigadier Motlafela Mojapelo
082 8766 429



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