BLOEMFONTEIN – The Phuthaditjhaba Tactical Response Team arrested a 32-year-old suspect wanted on two murder and attempted murder charges.
On 22 February 2021, at about 13:00, Benjamin Mahasa (47) and a female companion (38) were queuing at Mandela Park Complex, in Qwaqwa to collect their monthly Covid-19 relief funds at the Post Office.
An unknown man allegedly brought some people and forced them to join the queue in front of the victims. An argument ensued which ended with both victims allegedly being shot by the suspect. He fled the scene after the incident.
The woman sustained a gunshot wound to the knee whilst the man (Mahasa) was shot in the lower body. He succumbed to his injuries in hospital on 23 February 2021.
A case of murder and attempted murder were registered for investigation.
In another incident on Sunday, 04 April 2021, at about 11:25 the police were summoned to R712 road outside Phuthaditjhaba where the body of a woman, who was later identified as Marethabile Sekotlo (41), was found with an open neck wound. It emerged during investigation that the deceased’s husband is the suspect and he was also positively linked to the post office shooting.
On 11 May 2021 at about 17:30, the Phuthaditjhaba Tactical Response Team operationalized information received about the whereabouts of the wanted suspect who was spotted at Setsing shopping Complex of Phuthaditjhaba.
The suspect was positively identified by the team and approached. The team found a revolver pistol and five bullets in his possession. The search continued to the suspect’s house where seven bullets and knife were found and seized.
The firearm was circulated and it emerged that it was reported stolen at Cornelia police station during December 2018.
The suspect was arrested and charged with two murders, attempted murder and possession of unlicensed firearm and ammunition. He is expected to appear before the Phuthaditjhaba Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday, 12 May 2021.
Source: South African Police Service