South Africa

School principal among five arrested for education department official’s murder

principal arrested

A 42-year-old Limpopo school principal has been arrested in connection with the murder of a Department of Education official.

The principal, known as Mahlodi Melida Mathole, was the sister-in-law of the slain official.

According to police reports, circuit manager Dr Malekutu Johannes Mehlape (56) was shot by two suspects at his home in Mankweng Zone 1 late last month.

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The two, together with three others believed to have had some connection with the killing of the official, were arrested after a long and intensive investigation.

“Two of the five suspects were arrested separately, on Wednesday, 24 January. The principal, on the other hand, was arrested at Moremadi Park after the warrant of arrest was issued.

“Then, positive leads resulted in the arrest of a 49-year-old man, who was found in his hiding spot at Mahwelereng Zone1. He was found in possession of ammunition and a 9mm firearm with grinded serial number,” Police spokesperson, Colonel Malesela Ledwaba explained.

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Recovered firearm

Ledwaba said preliminary investigations revealed that a recovered firearm may have been used in the murder.

During more investigations, police confiscated a double cab Ford Ranger, which was allegedly used in the crime,

The accused appeared before the Mankweng Magistrate court on Thursday on charges of murder, conspiracy to commit murder, and possession of an unlicensed firearm.

All five of them were remanded in custody and the matter was postponed to Thursday, 1 February for a formal bail application and further investigations.