The task team formed after the bodies of three women were found in Soweto at the weekend has been credited with the speedy arrests of suspects, three of whom are appearing in the Protea Magistrates’ Court on Thursday.
The task team, which was put together to investigate the murders, is still searching for more suspects.
The Gauteng provincial commissioner Lieutenant-General Deliwe de Lange on Wednesday said: “It is believed more suspects were involved, and police are still following further leads.”
On Thursday, the South African Police Service (SAPS) said the appointment of a task team has resulted in the speedy arrest of three men suspected in connection with the murder of two women in Naledi and Tladi in Soweto.
SAPS spokesperson Lungelo Dlamini said: “Since the appointment of the team by the provincial commission, we’ve managed to arrest three suspects. These suspects may be linked to the killing of two women in the Naledi policing area.”
Two of the slain women who have been identified by family and friends on social media are Bongeka Phungula,28, and Popi Qwabe,24. The friends were reported missing on Friday. Their bodies were later found in different locations in Soweto.
Phungula’s body was found in Tladi with gunshot wounds to the head. Qwabe was identified at a mortuary in Naledi. Indications are that both women were raped before they were murdered.
The third body identified as that of Lerato Moloi, 27, was found half-naked. Again police suspect the murdered woman was raped.
Police said two men were arrested in connection with Moloi’s murder. The suspects appeared at the Protea Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday. This the same court where three other murder suspects are appearing on Thursday.
The murders come in the wake of the highly publicised murder of Karabo Mokoena, whose burnt body was last month found in a veld in Lyndhurst, Johannesburg.
The 22-year-old part time student’s boyfriend, Sandile Mantsoe‚ 27, has been arrested and has already made his first court appearance. He remains in custody.
Mokoena will be buried on Friday.