Diepsloot toddler killings: Suspect 5’s partner, friends cooperating with police

2013-10-16 17:21

The net is closing in on the fifth suspect wanted in connection with the brutal rape and murder of toddlers Yonalisa and Zandile Mali from Diepsloot.

Police say they are following possible leads on his whereabouts and they strongly believe the Mozambican national is still in the country.

The police’s Major General Oswald Reddy said the suspect’s partner and friends had been cooperating with the police.

“An identity kit of the man is currently being drawn up by the police forensic unit. It’s just a matter of time before we find him,” he said.

The Mali cousins disappeared on Saturday afternoon. Upon realising that the toddlers were missing, their parents reported the incident to the police and a search party was formed.

Information was received later that day that the cousins was last seen walking with a man wearing a yellow T-shirt. Yesterday morning a man from the same neighbourhood found the bodies of the two toddlers in the communal toilets.

Four men are currently being questioned by the police in connection with the brutal rape and murder of the Mali girls. Three of them are from Mozambique and the other from Swaziland.

Acting Gauteng police commissioner Lieutenant General Lesetja Mothiba told the media this afternoon during a press conference at the provincial police headquarters in Joburg that the parents of the girls may be charged if there was evidence that they had been neglected.

He also urged parents, especially mothers, to fulfil their parental responsibilities of caring and looking after their children.

“People must also take responsibility for their safety. Police cannot be everywhere,” he said.

Meanwhile, police are investigating if there is a link between the rape and murder of the Mali cousins and that of the five-year-old girl who was also found raped and murdered in the same area in September.

Reddy said: “It’s too early to say if there is a serial killer in the area, but we cannot rule out that possibility because the modus operandi is similar.”

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