A serial rapist and killer appeared before court in Piet Retief

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Nelspruit – 9 June 2022: The Provincial Commissioner of the South African Police Service in Mpumalanga, Lieutenant General Semakaleng Manamela, has commended a team of detectives from Dirkiesdorp after they arrested and linked a 21-year old suspect to multiple cases of rape, murder and attempted rape in various areas.

Nhlanhla Mlotshwa/Shabangu appeared in the Piet Retief Magistrate’s Court on Thursday 9 June for a formal bail application. Bail was not granted in this case.

The incidents emanating to the arrest of Mlotshwa/Shabangu are as follows:

On Monday 2 May 2022 at about 08:00, the body of a 28-year old woman was found by the community with multiple stab wounds in Dirkiesdorp and suspected to have been raped. The SAPS investigation led to the arrest of Nhlanhla Mlotshwa/Shabangu on the same day of the discovery, and he was positively linked to the incident.

Upon seeing the SAPS, he tried to run away but could not match the energetic officers. Clothes with blood stains were also discovered at his house. He further made confessions and pointed out other crime scenes where a 16-year old girl was raped and strangled to death in July 2021 and another where a woman was raped and stabbed to death.

The same suspect is also linked by DNA to other cases in Paulpietersburg regarding murder and rape, and attempted rape with serious injuries. Mlotshwa/Shabangu would either follow or attack his victims (suspected to be known to him) during the night then rape, stab, strangle or slit their throats.

DNA analysis are being conducted and the suspect is likely to be linked to more cases. The investigation continues and it is strongly believed that more charges may be added.

The Provincial Commissioner has applauded the team for a sterling job and leaving no stone unturned in dealing with this matter as well as for their level of commitment and dedication which ensured the suspect is brought to book.