Univen student believed to be Thohoyandou serial killer

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Pretoria – Limpopo Provincial Commissioner, Lieutenant General Fannie Masemola, says police have arrested a 24-year-old student at the University of Venda whom they believe is the Thohoyandou serial killer.

At a special briefing on Thursday, Masemola said the student was arrested at his residence in Thohoyandou Unit C at about 7pm on Tuesday.

He is facing charges of murder, rape, robbery and attempted murder.

Following the spate of murders in and around the University of Venda, with the modus operandi in those murders almost identical, the police had every reason to believe that there was a serial killer on the loose.

“A provincial task team which specialises in high profile cases was dispatched to the area,” said Masemola.

The body of 45-year-old Brenda Ndove, an employee at the university, was found next to the old clinic at the university on Friday last week. She had a deep wound on the back of her head.

In March, the body of Livhuwani Mbodi, a 22-year-old student at the university, was found inside the institution’s premises.

“Mbodi’s head also had a deep wound at the back, with other wounds on her back, seemly caused by the act of pulling her from the original scene of crime to the dumping place. Further investigations revealed that Mbodi was raped before she was murdered,” said Masemola.

In April, the body of 9-year-old, Tshililo Ndou, a learner at Tshishonga Primary School, was found in a yard in the Golgotha village. The village is within walking distance from the university.

According to Masemola, the little girl had been raped before being strangled to death.

In May a student of the university, 20-year-old Shudufhadzo Sandy Thagisa, was heavily assaulted in Golgotha and had to be rushed to a local hospital.

“Because of the severity of her injuries, Sandy was transferred to Polokwane Provincial Hospital where she was also transferred further. She is now at the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at a health institution in Gauteng. The South African Police Service wishes her a speedy recovery,” said Masemola.

At the end of June, the body of Zwivhuya Alice Mashau, an 8-year-old learner at Nazarene Primary School, which is also close to the university, was discovered. Mashau, who was found between two piles of sand, had also been strangled to death after being raped.

Masemola said the suspect was found in possession of Thagisa’s university student identification card and cellphone.

“Also found in his possession was a cellphone belonging to the late Brenda Ndove and a hairpin belonging to … Livhuwani Mbodi,” he said.

The suspect will appear at the Thohoyandou Magistrate’s Court on Thursday.

Two weeks ago the Golgotha community staged a march to the Thohoyandou police station to hand over a memorandum of grievances related to the murders. The residents believed the murders were ritual related.

“None of those murders were ritual related. No body part whatsoever was removed from the bodies of the deceased and the arrested suspect will be facing charges of murder, rape, robbery and attempted murder.”

On those cases that are ritual related, police are making progress and investigations are at a critical stage, he said.

The Commissioner commended the students at the university, the residents of Golgotha for cooperating with the police. – SAnews.gov.za

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