Police arrest man for 'revenge killing' that left 5 dead, baby in hospital in Free State

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A 21-year-old man was arrested in connection with five murders in QwaQwa in the Free State. (Gallo Images)
A 21-year-old man was arrested in connection with five murders in QwaQwa in the Free State. (Gallo Images)
  • A 21-year-old man has been arrested in connection with the murder of five people.
  • The attack saw an 11-month-old baby hospitalised after being hit in the face with a knobkerrie.
  • The murder may have been a revenge killing, according to reports.


A Free State man has been arrested in connection with the murder of five people during the Easter weekend.

The attack on Monday also left an 11-month-old in hospital after the baby was hit with a knobkerrie.

The suspected motive for the killings was revenge, reported Times Live.

"For now we suspect it was a revenge killing, though I cannot divulge more details," police spokesperson Colonel Thandi Mbambo told Times Live.

Mbambo told News24 the killers first attacked a couple's home in Marakong Village in QwaQwa. Moliehi Thoabala, 38, was shot dead and her husband, Safolo Mofokeng, 36, burnt to death.

The killers proceeded to a house nearby and attacked a sleeping family.

Baby rushed to hospital

Relebohile Lemeko, 48, and her two children Masabata Lemeko, 25, and Tatolo Lemeko, 22, were burnt to death in their shack. The attackers used a knobkerrie to hit the baby boy. He is recovering in hospital.

Mbambo said four other children in the Lemeko household managed to escape the attack and alert their relatives, who called the police.

Mbambo said:

The children who escaped ran to their other relatives and informed them that people shot at them and burnt the house. When the relatives arrived at the scene, they found the baby and rushed him to hospital.

The arrest came after investigators made a breakthrough on Wednesday, Mbambo said.

"An integrated team of investigators appointed to investigate family murders in Marakong Village, Namahadi, QwaQwa worked around the clock to trace those responsible for the gruesome murders," she said.

"At about 19:30…a 21-year-old man was arrested in Mphatlalatsane, QwaQwa."

The man will face charges of murder, arson and attempted murder. Police say they expect to make more arrests soon.


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