The body of an 8-year-old Limpopo girl who had been missing since Monday was found in the early hours of Thursday morning. She had been brutally murdered

A man has been arrested for the murder and the possible rape of the girl.

The remains of Mabareki California Molamudi, who was a Grade 1 pupil at Totwana Primary School in Xipungu village, were found in the bushes in the village, near Tzaneen.

According to police spokesperson Brigadier Motlafela Mojapelo, she was reportedly left with a caregiver, who is also a family member, on Monday, when she suddenly went missing.

“Preliminary investigations conducted by the police revealed that the child was last seen in the company of the suspect, walking to the nearby shop. He later reportedly told some community members that the child was kidnapped by unknown men travelling in a Toyota Quantum,” Mojapelo said.

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“Members of the Tzaneen Tracking Team received information [on Wednesday] at about 22:00 that the suspect went to consult a traditional healer at Acornhoek in Mpumalanga and, on arrival at about 01:30 [on Thursday] morning, the suspect was found and arrested.

‘Child might have been raped’

“Further investigations led the team to an area next to the local crèche at Xipungu village in the Letsitele policing area outside Tzaneen, where the body was found in the bushes.

“The probe that was conducted at the scene suggested that the child might have been raped before she was murdered. This will be determined by forensic investigations that are unfolding,” Mojapelo added.

Provincial police commissioner Lieutenant General Nneke Ledwaba strongly condemned the murder and commended the police officers involved for their efforts.

The man, aged 34, is expected to be charged with kidnapping, rape and murder. He is expected to appear in the Ritavi Magistrate’s Court on Friday.