Limpopo man to face murder charge after 'kidnapped' victim's body identified

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A man has been charged with murder.
A man has been charged with murder.
André Damons, Netwerk24

A suspect arrested in connection with an alleged kidnapping has been charged with murder after the body of a 16-year-old girl was found in Limpopo.

Novice Mathebula, 21, was accused of kidnapping teenager Matimu Xolani Timbane at a tavern in Mavalani village outside Giyani on Christmas Day.

READ | Cape Town woman robbed, murdered while waiting for transport home from work

Her body was found dumped in the Nsami River on Tuesday 29 December, the same day she was reported missing, and was positively identified by the family on Friday.

"Preliminary police investigations revealed that the deceased… was last seen in the company of the suspect on 25 December under circumstances that bordered on kidnapping. A search operation for both the suspect and the 16-year-old girl commenced. The suspect was then traced by the police and arrested in Johannesburg on 5 January," said Limpopo police spokesperson Brigadier Motlafela Mojapelo.

Mathebula appeared in the Giyani Magistrate's Court on Friday.

The case was postponed to 13 January for further police investigations. The accused will face an additional charge of murder when he next appears in court.

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