Two additional suspects arrested also not yet linked to Ditebogo Phalane’s murder

22 May 2024 - 13:28
By Shonisani Tshikalange
Five-year-old Ditebogo Phalane Jnr was shot dead when his father was hijacked in Soshanguve. File photo.
Image: Supplied Five-year-old Ditebogo Phalane Jnr was shot dead when his father was hijacked in Soshanguve. File photo.

Two additional suspects arrested this week in connection with the murder of five-year-old Ditebogo Phalane Jnr have also not yet been charged for his murder.

The two men appeared in the Atteridgeville magistrate's court on Wednesday in connection with the murder and have been charged with two counts of possession of prohibited firearms and a count of possession of ammunition.

This brings the number of suspects who have been arrested concerning the murder to four.

Ditebogo Jnr was fatally shot during his father's hijacking outside their home in Soshanguve.

He was buried in Soshanguve last Friday.

On Wednesday, court proceedings were not open to the public and the media as more investigations, including an identity parade, need to be conducted.

According to the National Prosecuting Authority, one suspect, a 29-year-old, is a Mozambique national, while the other is a South African aged 30.

“Accused 1 is facing a schedule five offence because of the nature of the firearm he was carrying. Accused 2 is facing a schedule six offence because he was out on bail for other charges that are schedule five offences,” said NPA spokesperson Lumka Mahanjana.

On a possible murder charge, she said investigations are ongoing.

“When the two accused are linked to the murder of the five-year-old a murder charge will be added. At this stage I don't want to divulge the nature of the investigations because we don't want to compromise the investigations,” she said.

Mahanjana said the 30-year-old accused was arrested at Garankuwa while appearing there on charges of attempted murder, possession of a firearm, possession of ammunition and hijacking.

Hawks spokesperson Wendy Nkabi said the two additional suspects were arrested on Monday. 

She said one firearm is alleged to be the weapon used in the murder. The weapons will be sent for testing.

On Wednesday the matter was postponed to May 30 for bail information and for the accused to appoint their lawyers.

Last Friday two men, aged 30 and 36, appeared in separate courts. One suspect appeared in the Soshanguve magistrate's court and the other in the Pretoria north magistrate's court. 

They both faced a charge of possession of an unlawful firearm and ammunition. They were also not charged with murder. 

The men are expected in court again on May 27 and 28 respectively.