Palesa Madiba's family commends police after man arrested in connection with her murder

2019-08-01 13:27
Memorial service for Palesa Madiba. (EWN, Twitter)

Memorial service for Palesa Madiba. (EWN, Twitter)

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The family of University of Johannesburg (UJ) student Palesa Madiba, whose remains were found two years after she went missing, has commended the police after a man was arrested in connection with her murder.

Six years after she was last seen alive, police have finally made a breakthrough in the case.  

Speaking to News24 on Thursday, Madiba's uncle, Morena Madiba, said: "Everyone is happy and we just need justice now. Now that the man is arrested, we leave everything in the hands of the courts."

On Wednesday, police spokesperson Lungelo Dlamini confirmed to News24 that a 36-year-old man had been arrested in connection with her murder.

Madiba's alleged killer was arrested in Protea, Soweto, on Monday and appeared in the Protea Magistrate's Court the following day.

He is expected back in court on August 7 and is awaiting a High Court date, News24 earlier reported.

Speaking about the arrest, Morena said the family was not "surprised at all".

"The family had hope that one day, someday, the arrest would happen," he said. He commended the investigating officer.

"Honestly, we have been communicating with the investigating officer and he told us about each and every success and downfall in the case. 

READ: Man arrested 6 years after Palesa Madiba murder

"We knew everything that was happening with the investigation. We were happy that he is doing his job. He told us when the investigations were concluded," he said.

News24 understands the man was allegedly in hiding in Protea after he learnt the police were looking for him.

The man, who cannot be identified at this stage, was thought to be close to Madiba.

Madiba was born in Diepkloof, Soweto, on November 7, 1992. At the time she went missing on August 9, 2013, she was enrolled for a Bachelor of Commerce degree in accounting at UJ.

Madiba had spent the weekend at a friend Tshidi Mkwanazi's house in Phiri and was expected home in Diepkloof on the Monday evening.

Her remains were found in a shallow grave at Mkhwanazi's home on December 16, 2015, after the police received an anonymous tip-off.

Mkhwanazi claimed she had last seen Madiba on August 12, 2013, when she left in the morning to go to work.

She said she left her with her uncle who was in her home at the time. Police took the uncle in for questioning but he was later released.

According to reports, he had taken out a restraining order against Madiba's family, claiming the family harassed him about her whereabouts.

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