Bodies piling up as fifth homeless man murdered in Pretoria in a month

19 June 2019 - 12:27 By Iavan Pijoos
The body of a fifth homeless man has been found in the streets of Pretoria on Wednesday.
The body of a fifth homeless man has been found in the streets of Pretoria on Wednesday.
Image: 123rf/ Igor Stevanovic

A fifth homeless man has been found murdered on the streets of Pretoria on Wednesday, police said.

Provincial police spokesperson Brig Mathapelo Peters said the man's body was found on Wednesday morning at a bus terminal about 400m from Unisa's main campus in Muckleneuk.

The cause of death has not been made public.

Peters said a "pathologist is on the investigating team and will confirm the cause and extent of injuries."

At this point, police could confirm that all five victims were "male, middle-aged, homeless and killed during the night".

Gauteng police commissioner Lt-Gen Elias Mawela has instructed a high-level task team to investigate the murders.

"Without wanting to sow panic in our communities, especially in the Muckleneuk area, we want to caution the public to be vigilant and be aware of this nocturnal prowler preying on the vulnerable," said Mawela.

"Our task, as the police, is to work around the clock and make sure that this madness is brought to an end."

The five murder victims were found in different parts of Muckleneuk over the past month.

The first three victims were stabbed and beaten. The fourth body was found on a pavement at the corner of Justice Mohammed and Troye streets on Tuesday morning. He had "suffered an injury towards the back of the head," said police. 

All homeless people are urged to remain vigilant and to sleep in groups. 

Lt-Gen Mawela said police were also trying to ensure more of the city's homeless are accommodated in shelters.

He assured the public of the SAPS commitment "to getting to the bottom of these murders and bringing back a sense of calm within the community."

Mawela said he has instructed a high-level task team comprising specialists from forensic services who include pathologists and criminal psychologists; crime intelligence; and detectives to prioritise the investigation.

Residents of Muckleneuk in Pretoria are living in fear after the body of another middle-aged homeless man was discovered in the area. Police have confirmed that five homeless men have been found dead in the area over the space of a month.