‘We can’t just accept women getting killed’ – Cele on Mthwalume murders

Police Minister Bheki Cele. Picture: Tracy Lee Stark

Two men have been arrested as persons of interest in connection with the five murders. They are expected to appear in court on Monday.

Police Minister Bheki Cele is happy with progress into the murders of five women in the Mthwalume area on the KwaZulu-Natal South Coast.

“We couldn’t just sit by and accept that women are getting murdered. I am satisfied that this team has already brought in two people of interest, who they believe have a case to answer to,” Cele said in a statement on Saturday.

Cele said he believed that investigators had “covered much ground”.

The bodies of five women – aged between 16 and 36 – were found on a sugarcane farm between April and August 2020.

Two of the bodies were found this past week. The gruesome discoveries led to “investigative interventions on a national level”, according to Cele’s statement.

He said the national head of crime intelligence and detectives, along with the national head of the family violence, child protection and sexual offences unit, joined forces with provincial investigators to look into the case.

Cele, who visited the crime scenes in the Mthwalume area on Saturday, interacted with concerned residents.

Residents called for more protection from the police.

He assured community members, which consisted of mainly women, that there would be high-density, visible patrols conducted in the area.

“Over and above the extra boots on the ground to ensure this type of crimes don’t take place, and that women are safe and feel safe, we have also established a mobile Community Service Centre that will make certain this area and surrounding areas have better access to services of the SAPS.”

Two men have been arrested as persons of interest in connection with the five murders. They are expected to appear in court on Monday.

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