- A 24-year-old Free State man allegedly lured away a friend's daughter with R5, and then raped and killed her.
- The man then allegedly disappeared from the area and was arrested two days later.
- The body of the girl was found in a veld, next to groceries the man had allegedly bought on the day the child disappeared.
A Free State man appeared in court for allegedly raping and murdering the 7-year-old daughter of a family friend and dumping the body in bushes.
Tshepang Mosikidi's body was found in September. She was believed to have been raped and strangled.
After numerous court appearances, the latest being on Wednesday at the Kestell Magistrate's Court, the case against William Mofokeng, 24, was postponed to 21 January 2022 for the matter to be transferred to the Regional Court. Mofokeng remains in custody.
According to police spokesperson Warrant Officer Mmako Mophiring, Mofokeng worked in Kestell and rented a place in Phahameng Section in Tlholong township.
He said Mofokeng was well acquainted with Tshepang's family and used to visit them.
On 18 September 2021, Tshepang and a friend went to a nearby shop and allegedly met Mofokeng along the way. He had just returned from town and was carrying groceries.
Mophiring said Mofokeng asked the girls to accompany him and promised them R5 each.
READ | Mother, uncle on trial for rape and murder of toddler in Midrand
"Tshepang's friend refused to go, saying her mother had taught her never to go with strangers. Tshepang, however, went with him.
"The other girl went home and told her parents that Tshepang had gone with Mofokeng."
According to Mophiring, Tshepang never returned home.
He said police and residents had searched for Mofokeng after he had also disappeared. He was arrested two days later at his parental home 26 km from the scene.
"The accused was traced to HaNchabeng Village in QwaQwa, where he was finally arrested following a lengthy search by the police. The team – consisting of the Phuthaditjhaba Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences Unit and the Crime Intelligence Unit – successfully followed up information, which led to the arrest of the accused."
Mophiring said when asked where Tshepang was, Mofokeng said he did not know. Police then searched a veld, where they found her body.
"The child was almost naked, and it is believed she was strangled ... Her body was just left exposed to the elements, such as animals, but fortunately it had not been tampered with," Mophiring added.
"Groceries that he had allegedly bought on the day the child went missing were found next to the body.
"The body was then recovered in a nearby field and taken to the government mortuary for a post-mortem, which resulted in rape and murder case being investigated," Mophiring said.
Never miss a story. Choose from our range of newsletters to get the news you want delivered straight to your inbox.