Ströh said the murder may have become a “cold case” due to a lack of information at that time. However, the Hawks got a break in 2011 when Nkosi was arrested in connection with a rape case dating back to 2004. He had previously escaped from custody at the Waterval Boven police station after his initial arrest on the rape charge.
He was later acquitted on the rape charge but his arrest would prove to be crucial in linking him to the murder of Van Wyk through his fingerprints.
It would be nine years before the net finally closed in on Nkosi, with the Hawks arresting him at work in October 2020, almost two hours away from the murder scene. According to Ströh, Nkosi did not resist arrest.
Mpumalanga Hawks spokesperson Lt-Col Philani Nkwalase said the delay in linking Nkosi was due to several factors, including the lengthy process involved in tracing fingerprints not on the police system. This meant police had to extend the search to other databases, such as home affairs, which can take time.
Nkosi, now aged 44, was convicted on housebreaking and murder charges by the Nelspruit regional court on Monday.
He was handed a 25-year prison term for murder and an additional five years for housebreaking.
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