Woman’s home set alight after community discovers missing teen’s burnt corpse
Angry residents of Senwabarwana burnt down the house of an elderly woman who they believe was behind the death of a 14-year-old girl, Limpopo police said on Monday.
The incident happened on Sunday. Brig Motlafela Mojapelo said the teenager, from Silvermine village, went missing on May 5.
“Police launched a search operation immediately. A police helicopter, the K9 unit, search and rescue unit, and members from Senwabarwana police station, assisted by the community, jointly conducted a search operation in the area, but the child could not be located,” he said.
“The police were then called when the gruesome discovery was made yesterday [Sunday].
The girl’s body was discovered on a hilltop at Driekoppies.“She was found partially burnt and her hands and feet had been tied.”Mojapelo said they were awaiting postmortem results to confirm the cause of death. Some community members believed the elderly woman was behind the girl’s killing.
“They went on the rampage and torched a house belonging to a 63-year-old woman, accusing the family of witchcraft and that they were responsible for the disappearance of the child,” said Mojapelo.
It was not immediately clear why the group had suspected the family of being behind the incident. The family members escaped the incident unscathed.
“Thirteen suspects were consequently arrested on a charge of arson and will again appear in Senwabarwana magistrate’s court on May 21 for a formal bail application,” added Mojapelo. Provincial commissioner Lt-Gen Nneke Ledwaba expressed his sadness at the incident.
“I warn community members to desist from taking the law into their own hands but instead assist the police in the investigation of this brutal incident,” he said.
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