Behind the headlines: Families share the pain of losing loved ones to a suspected serial killer

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Drum: Behind The Headlines
Drum: Behind The Headlines

Five woman went missing. They were later found dead and buried in a backyard in Mpumalanga. 

Their families are still trying to make sense of it all. The alleged murderer Julius Mndawe was arrested in 2019 and still remains behind bars. 

He was often described as a “good guy” who had a weakness for women. A “good neighbour”, a “friendly young man” and a “great gardener”.

He would often share the food from his garden with his poorer neighbours and week after week he was seen with various women.

What his neighbours didn’t know was that they were living next to an alleged serial killer and rapist.

Read more | Pitch Black Afro found guilty of culpable homicide in wife's murder trial

He is facing five counts of murder and rape, concealment of death and violation of corpse charges after confessing to raping and killing Tokkie Tlaka (24), Banele Khoza (15), Noxolo Mdluli (19), Felicia Shabangu (17) and Nomthandazo Mdluli (19) and burying them. 

The pain for the families is still as sharp as it was the day they found out their loved ones were dead. They take us through what they know. 

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