Authorities are confident that they have arrested the correct person for the murder of 21-year-old Limpopo student Precious Ramabulana, Community Safety MEC Namane Dickson Masemola said in a statement on Thursday.
"We are confident that we have the right suspect in custody and that he has a case to answer to," Masemola said at a safety and security summit at the Karibu Holiday Resort in Tzaneen on Thursday.
Ramabulana, 21, was asleep in her rented room at ga-Joel Section in Mokomene when her attacker gained entry through the window and attacked her in the early hours of Sunday morning. She was reportedly stabbed 52 times.
"Limpopo and the country as a whole [have] suffered the loss of ... Ramabulana, at the hands of a ruthless criminal. Sadly, this is compounded by the fact that Precious was murdered during a time when the men around the country are challenged to mobilise against gender-based violence, the abuse of children and people with disabilities," Masemola said.
Police caught the suspect after national police commissioner General Khehla Sitole instructed provincial police to put in motion a 72-hour activation plan.
The plan included the mobilisation of critical resources, including Crime Intelligence, forensic services, the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (Hawks) and detective services.
"This speedy strategic approach had yielded positive results in that police have apprehended a 28-year-old suspect in connection with the murder of Precious.
"The suspect was residing in Nyakelang Village, Botlokwa, and was arrested at his parental home. Police also recovered cellular phones which possibly belonged to Precious, blood-stained clothes and possibly even the murder weapon," Masemola said.
Masemola applauded the investigating team for a speedy response, as well as the community for remaining calm during the investigation.
"At this juncture, we call upon our courts to impose the harshest sentence possible on this suspect once found guilty, as all efforts will be committed by the police to prove the case to the letter," Masemola said.
National police spokesperson Brigadier Vishnu Naidoo told News24 on Thursday that the man was being taken through the police processes.
However, he could not divulge where the man was being held and when he would be formally charged and appear in court.