A 17-year-old matric pupil from Pienaar in Mpumalanga faces charges of murder, rape and defeating the ends of justice after allegedly strangling his 16-year-old schoolmate to death and burying her.The incident happened in Ncakini, Pienaar, which is outside Nelspruit, on Monday.The girl had left home to attend a study session on Monday but never returned home, provincial police spokesperson, Brigadier Leonard Hlathi, said.She was a pupil at Ncakini Secondary School. Her parents reportedly conducted a search for her around the area."They, however, learned that she was last seen with the suspect after the study session on that day," Hlathi said. The matter was reported to the police on Wednesday and the pupil was taken in for questioning.Hlathi said the teenager first claimed that the girl was taken by an unknown car, which he thought was driven by her uncle. "As the interrogation intensified, he changed his tune and informed the police the victim had died as a result of strangulation and he buried her for fear of being arrested," Hlathi added.The boy then led the police to the shallow grave, Hlathi said.Hlathi said preliminary investigations suggested that the girl may have been raped before being strangled to death.A second suspect believed to be linked to the murder has also been taken in for questioning, he added.SABC News reported that the girl's uncle, Patrick Mkhonto, said the family hoped that justice would take its course so they could get closure. "We are very hurt by what happened. We are now putting our hopes on police," he was quoted as saying.