Teen arrested for murder of soldier found in boot of burnt car

27 August 2019 - 15:17 By Dan Meyer
Michael Mawande Njomane's body was found in the boot of a burnt-out vehicle in Blue Downs last week.
Michael Mawande Njomane's body was found in the boot of a burnt-out vehicle in Blue Downs last week.
Image: Supplied

Police on Tuesday arrested a 15-year-old in connection with the murder of a soldier whose body was found in the boot of a torched car last week.

Earlier, the SANDF named Michael Mawande Njomane as the soldier whose charred remains were discovered in Blue Downs, Cape Town.

The 41-year-old staff sergeant had been a member of the defence force since 1994, and is survived by his wife and four children.

Police spokesperson Sgt Noloyiso Rwexana told TimesLIVE: "Please be advised that this morning [Tuesday] a 15-year-old boy was arrested and is expected to appear in the Blue Downs magistrate’s court tomorrow [Wednesday]. The investigation is ongoing."

Two men have previously been arrested in connection with the murder. They are also expected in court on Wednesday.

Njomane's charred body was found in the boot of a white Hyundai Accent after firefighters were summoned to extinguish the burning vehicle on Silversands Road.

"Njomane will be laid to rest at Mount Coke, Idutywa, in the Eastern Cape on Saturday, August 31 2019," said SANDF spokesperson Brig-Gen Mafi Mgobozi. The memorial service will be a private one. An SANDF memorial service will be held at a later date. "He was recently transferred to one of the military units in Cape Town."

Njomane was not, the military has clarified, a member of the ongoing operation to stem the escalation of gang violence on the Cape Flats. He was driving a government vehicle at the time of his kidnapping last week.

Postmortem results are pending.

Two men were arrested last week in connection with the gruesome discovery. Theodore Loggenberg, 43, appeared in the Blue Downs magistrate's court and a co-accused is due join him in the dock on Wednesday. 

National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Eric Ntabazalila said that more arrests were expected. 

Western Cape community safety MEC Albert Fritz said on Friday that the 41-year-old soldier was working at a military base in the province and had been missing since August 16.

Fritz commended the police for the arrests.

"We cannot tolerate such a gross disregard for the peace and safety of the people of our province," he said.

Police are investigating.