Free State police arrest two more suspects for the killing of five family members

09 April 2021 - 07:27
By Belinda Pheto
Free State police have arrested two more suspects in connection with the brutal murders of five family members in that province over the Easter weekend. Stock image.
Image: 123RF/BELCHONOK Free State police have arrested two more suspects in connection with the brutal murders of five family members in that province over the Easter weekend. Stock image.

Free State police have made another breakthrough in the case where five family members were brutally killed at the weekend in Marakong village, Namahadi, in Qwaqwa.

On Sunday, the burnt bodies of Safolo Mofokeng, Relebohile Lemeko, her daughter Masabata Lemeko and son Tatolo Lemeko were discovered in two separate houses in Namahadi. Mofokeng's wife, Moliehi Thoabala, was found with a gunshot wound to the stomach.

Five children survived the attack, mostly unharmed.

Provincial police spokesperson Col Thandi Mbamo said a local farmer aged 43 and a 20-year-old foreign national were arrested in the early hours of Friday morning in Harrismith. This brings the total number of suspects arrested to three.

The first suspect was arrested on Thursday and will make his first appearance today at Phuthaditjhaba magistrate's court on charges of murder, arson and attempted murder, while the two who were arrested on Friday morning will appear at the same court on Monday.

Mbambo said the main suspect is still on the run.

“The farmer is charged with defeating the ends of justice after it emerged that he's been transporting the suspects with his vehicle, assisting them to evade the law. His vehicle was confiscated. The other main suspect is still at large,” Mbambo said.

On Thursday, Mbambo told TimesLIVE police were investigating whether the killings were a revenge attack.

“For now we suspect it was revenge killing, though I cannot divulge more details,” Mbambo told TimesLIVE.