Homeless Killings: Task team hits the ground running in search for 'nocturnal prowler'

accreditation
The area in Magnolia Park where two bodies were found, one on June 8 and the second on June 9. (Alex Mitchley, News24)
The area in Magnolia Park where two bodies were found, one on June 8 and the second on June 9. (Alex Mitchley, News24)

The high-level task team deployed to investigate a spate of murders of homeless people in Muckleneuk in Tshwane, hit the ground running on Wednesday.

News24 was in Magnolia Park where two of the bodies were found.

A team of investigators arrived at the park on Wednesday morning where they combed the scene and spoke to one of the homeless men.

They followed up on information and left.

Following the discovery of a fifth body at a bus stop about 400 metres from Unisa's main campus in Muckleneuk on Wednesday, the specialist task team was deployed to investigate.

READ: Homeless killings - Fifth body found in Tshwane, police task team deployed

All five bodies were found in different parts of Muckleneuk in the last month.

The first body was found almost three weeks ago in a veld near the Mears Park train station, in the suburb. Just two weeks later, two more bodies were found in Magnolia Park on June 8 and 9.

Magnolia Park and Mears Park train station are situated close to each other.


Muckleneuk, Magnolia Park, Tshwane, Homeless man

A homeless man sitting on the grass in Magnolia Park, Tshwane, where two bodies were found on June 8 and 9.  (Alex Mitchley, News24)

The fourth body was found on a pavement on the corner of Justice Mohammed and Troye streets on Tuesday morning.

Similarities

Gauteng police spokesperson Brigadier Mathapelo Peters confirmed that all the victims were homeless, middle-age men and that they were murdered at night.

READ MORE: Police discover bodies of two men in Magnolia Park

News24 also understands that all victims were either stabbed, suffered blunt force trauma from a heavy object or injuries inflicted in both manners.

However, post mortems conducted by the task team will conclusively identify the cause of death in each case.

Commenting on the first three bodies, police spokesperson Captain Daniel Mavimbela said preliminary investigations revealed that the deceased also suffered injuries towards the back of their heads.

Priority investigation

Coinciding with the discovery of the fifth body, Gauteng police commissioner Lieutenant General Elias Mawela instructed the high-level task team, comprising forensics specialists, including pathologists and criminal psychologists, Crime Intelligence officers and detectives, to prioritise the investigation.

"Without sowing panic amongst our communities, especially in the Muckleneuk area, we want to caution the public to be vigilant and be aware of this nocturnal prowler preying on the vulnerable," Mawela said.

"Ours, as the police, is to work around the clock and make sure that this madness is brought to an end. For now, we are in the process of getting these homeless people into shelters."

Anyone who has information that may assist police to solve the murders can anonymously contact the Sunnyside police station or call Crime Stop on 08600 10111.

KEEP UPDATED on the latest news by subscribing to our FREE newsletter.

- FOLLOW News24 on Twitter

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
DAYS
HRS
MINS
Voting Booth
Matric results are out! Are you happy with your child's result?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
No, the pandemic really messed up their ability to focus
34% - 180 votes
Yes, they did well given the circumstances
66% - 355 votes
Vote
Rand - Dollar
15.13
+0.8%
Rand - Pound
20.50
-0.2%
Rand - Euro
17.16
-0.2%
Rand - Aus dollar
10.85
-0.1%
Rand - Yen
0.13
-0.2%
Gold
1,834.78
0.0%
Silver
24.30
+0.0%
Palladium
2,111.50
0.0%
Platinum
1,034.00
0.0%
Brent Crude
87.89
-0.6%
Top 40
68,186
-2.1%
All Share
74,835
-1.9%
Resource 10
74,924
-3.0%
Industrial 25
94,147
-1.8%
Financial 15
15,076
-0.2%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.

LEARN MORE