NELSPRUIT – The Provincial Commissioner of the SAPS in Mpumalanga, Lieutenant General Semakaleng Daphney Manamela is concerned about the rate in which some of the young people are found to be in conflict with the law. This comes in the wake of a terrifying incident in which five suspects were arrested on allegations of murdering a man, aged 25 as well as for gang raping three women, aged between 27 and 35. Three of those suspects are under age (two are 17 years of age whilst one is 16 years old). The incident reportedly occurred at Bethal on Friday night, 17 June 2022.

According to the report on Saturday, 18 June 2022 police received a complaint from Bethal hospital about a man who was admitted with multiple stab wounds but unfortunately succumbed to his injuries. Upon arrival at the hospital the members opened a murder case.

The investigation by the police then revealed that on that fateful night, a group of about five males reportedly had an altercation with the man who then ran towards a local fuel station in Bethal. It is further alleged that the man was pursued by the suspects thereby stabbing him several times before they left him in a pool of blood.

The medical personnel were notified about the incident and upon arrival they took him to hospital but later the victim was certified dead. Police learnt through their probe that after the incident, the suspects proceeded to a certain house where they found three women and allegedly gang raped them before they fled the scene on foot.

A team consisting of the Bravo Security Company, members from Bethal, Secunda Crime Intelligence and Emzinoni converged with a sole purpose to bring the suspects to book. It was not long before the five were cornered and arrested as well as charged for murder with additional three counts of rape on Saturday, 18 June 2022.

The man has reportedly been identified by his family as Mr June Mwafor and the police are working in collaboration with other stakeholders, including the Probation Officers as well as Social Workers, taking into consideration the fact that some of the suspects are minors.

Police cannot rule out the possibility of the five being involved in some kind of gangsterism however this will form part of the investigation by the detectives.

All suspects are expected to appear at the Bethal Magistrate’s Court on Monday, 20 June 2022 facing the outlined charges.

Meanwhile the Provincial Commissioner of the SAPS in Mpumalanga, Lieutenant General Semakaleng Daphney Manamela has reassured the public that police will continue to work tirelessly in order to dismantle any form of criminal groupings or syndicates that terrorize communities with crime, citing the recent hefty sentence imposed in Marite. “There is so much space created by the various challenges that the world faces today, of which young people can turn into opportunities by bringing forth innovative ideas and solutions rather than engaging themselves in criminal activities. We encourage the youth to join Youth Crime Prevention Desk in their respective police stations in order to constructively participate in inventive ways of preventing and tackling crime in the society,” said the General.

Source: South African Police Service