Police clerk found strangled in lodge

2016-07-19 10:51

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Pietermaritzburg - Mystery surrounds the murder of an Impendle police clerk who was found strangled at a low-cost lodge in the city centre on Sunday afternoon.

Police are currently inspecting video footage in attempts to identify two men who entered the Bayside Value Lodge on the corner of West and Church Street with the clerk on Saturday.

He was found dead in a room the next day. It is believed Patrick Mhlengi Mweli (28), who worked as a police administration clerk at the Impendle stock theft unit, was strangled to death.

Police responded to a call by frantic lodge staff, who said they had found a body in one of their rooms on Sunday.

When officers arrived at the lodge, which charges an overnight rate of R99, they found Mweli’s body lying on the bed with a blood-stained pillow case concealing his face. There was also blood on the bed sheets.

Pietermaritzburg police spokesman Sergeant Mthokozisi Ngobese said it appears Mweli was strangled to death because blood was found around his nose and mouth.

Ngobese said the motive of the murder is unknown and no one has been arrested for the murder.

However, police are examining video footage from cameras outside the lodge, which reveals two men entering the building with Mweli.

“We are appealing for anybody with information to come forward,” Ngobese said.

Describing the crime scene, a source said the room contained only of a double bed, a cupboard, a small table by the window and an enclosed lavatory.

“His [Mweli’s] body was covered all the way up to the neck with the bed sheets and his face was covered with what looked like a towel or pillow case,” the source said.

“The room is tiny. His [Mweli’s] left arm was bent irregularly behind his back and he was bleeding from the nose and mouth. His tongue was also sticking out.”

The source said rigor mortis had already set in when Mweli was found, indicating that he may have been murdered on Saturday night or early on Sunday morning.

“There were also footprints on the bed sheets that did not match his shoes, meaning there may have been someone else in the room, probably standing over him on the bed.

There were also beer bottles, employee payslips and an identity book of a person believed to belong to one of his [Mweli’s] colleagues,” the source said.

• amil.umraw@witness.co.za

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  death

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