Diepsloot suspect may be from KZN

2013-10-18 00:00

A MASSIVE police manhunt for the key suspect in the grisly rape and murder of two Gauteng toddlers in a crime that has shocked South Africa may lead to KwaZulu-Natal.

Police yesterday released an identikit of the main suspect and announced a reward of R100 000 for information revealing his whereabouts.

The crime in Diepsloot sparked a community rampage and was denounced by President Jacob Zuma and Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa, who unleashed a squad of detectives to hunt for the killers.

Four men have been taken into custody. But the man the police are most keen to find is the person pictured in the identikit.

Gauteng SAPS spokesperson Brigadier Neville Malila yesterday said the police had received information that the man could be from Swaziland or KwaZulu-Natal.

Malila would not provide The Witness with more information about the alleged KwaZulu-Natal links except to say the information had been received from witnesses and the community.

The man is described as in his early thirties and about 1,7 m tall.

He is of average build, has a scar on his lower lip, wears different beanies and a red ring on his left hand.

He also has a string of cords around his left ankle.

The police net has been cast across South Africa with all border posts also receiving a copy of the identikit.

“Everyone is on high alert,” said Malila.

“The families are devastated. It is a terrible, terrible thing that happened.

“We have arranged for psychological support to the families, and have also arranged for ongoing counselling for them, because we realise the horror of the event will have a lasting effect.”

He said police only offered rewards for information in extreme cases and that this case has warranted it.

The last time the police issued a reward for information was in June this year, after the murder of Johannesburg police chief Major-General Tirhani Maswanganyi. His body was found in a bushy area north of Pretoria.

Malila said rewards are offered in cases when the investigation team does not possess enough information to continue with its investigation.

The reward in the case of the kidnapping, rape and murder of the two- and three-year-old Diepsloot cousins has been offered because it is a high-profile case and priority crime.

Malila said the information gathered in this double murder could also benefit the investigation of the rape and murder of a five-year-old girl in September.

Anelise Mkhondo’s body was found several metres from an outside toilet at a garbage dump where the corpses of Yonelisa and Zandile Mali were found.

“The modus operandi in all the three murders corresponds. We believe the murders are linked and hope that the information will help us to solve the first case,” said Manila.

He denied that they suspected a serial killer to be responsible for the murders.

“The police’s psychology unit is busy compiling a psychological profile. At this stage we are not looking for a serial killer.”

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