Mpumalanga police have not ruled out that the man accused of murdering his policewoman friend was involved in drugs.
The suspect, Moses Sibiya, 36, allegedly also sold her car after kidnapping and beating Sergeant Sthembile Mdluli, 37, to death over the weekend, the Lowvelder reports.
Mdluli’s body was found on Wednesday, the same day Captain Bheki Simelane was gunned down near his home in Durban.
KwaZulu-Natal police were still looking for his killer at the time of going to press but police believe they have Mdluli’s murderer in custody.
Sibiya was expected to appear in the Nelspruit Magistrate’s Court on Friday.
The family reported Mdluli missing to the KaNyamazane Police Station over the weekend. She had been absent since Saturday.
She was attached to the White River Vehicle Crime Investigation Unit. Her body was discovered in Rosehaugh near Sabie.
Police spokesman Brigadier Leonard Hlathi said their investigation led to Mdluli’s male friend, Sibiya, who apparently “after intense questioning”, took them to the body.
Sibiya allegedly drugged her in KaBokweni, kidnapped her and beat her to death with a blunt object in the nearby bush.
“We do not know what object was used during the assault,” said Hlathi.
He then drove to Rosehaugh where he dumped her body in a plantation. Hlathi said Sibiya led police to the place where her body was discovered.
At the same time, J&M Security received a call from community members who had discovered her body.
J&M manager Shaun Terblanche said their officers arrived at the scene and “moments later the police arrived with the suspect”.
A source close to the investigation said police recovered Mdluli’s VW Polo after Sibiya allegedly sold it to someone in Ngodini.
Hlathi would not confirm or deny that that they were investigating whether Sibiya was possibly linked to drugs.
“We don’t investigate just one crime, but everything a person may have been involved in.”
The Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union condemned the killings, citing concern that at least five police officers had been killed this month.
“We have seen the battle for the soul of the security industry in the past two years, where over 80 police officers lost their lives while on duty,” said police spokesperson Richard Mamabolo in a statement.
– Caxton News Service