The SAPS in Limpopo has said the 21-year-old man who arrested for allegedly kidnapping and murdering a 16-year-old girl at Mavalani village, outside Giyani, on Christmas Day, has appeared in court.

Spokesperson Colonel Moatshe Ngoepe, said the man appeared briefly before the Giyani Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday.

The 21-year-old was arrested after the body of the deceased was found dumped in the Nsami River on December 29. The body of the deceased was positively identified by family members last week.

He also said “The child was reported missing on 29 December 2020. Preliminary police investigations revealed that the deceased, identified as Matimu Xolani Timbane, was last seen in the company of the suspect on 25 December 2020, under circumstances that bordered on kidnapping”.

“The search operation for both the suspect and the 16-year-old girl commenced. The suspect was then traced by the police and arrested in Johannesburg, Gauteng Province on 5 January 2021 after the family positively identified the deceased.”

Ngoepe said police investigations were continuing.

Meanwhile, earlier this month, a 32-year-old Limpopo man was arrested in connection with the murder of his 53-year-old wife.

Limpopo SAPS spokesperson Brigadier Motlafela Mojapelo said at the time that the couple were reportedly living together in the area. Residents apparently became curious when they noticed that there were no movements in the yard for the entire day on Wednesday, January 6.

Mojapelo said “This after the couple was allegedly heard arguing the previous evening at around 9.30pm”.

“On Thursday morning (January 7), they then decided to check what was going on and, on entering the premises, traces of bloodstains were allegedly seen through the window of the house.

“Some of community members were met by (an) unpleasant smell coming from a shack that has been erected in front of the house.

“They then decided to forcefully open the door of the shack after their calls went unanswered and discovered the shallow grave.”

Police were called to the scene and the body of a 53-year-old woman was exhumed from the shallow grave that had been dug inside the shack. The husband was arrested after a manhunt was launched.