POLOKWANE The Provincial Commissioner of the South African Police Service (SAPS) in Limpopo, Lieutenant General Thembi Hadebe has commended police for the swift arrest of three suspects aged between 24 and 46 who brutally assaulted and killed a male German tourist, 74, at Northam in Waterberg District on Saturday 24 February 2024.

The victim departed from Botswana on Friday and drove to South Africa in a sedan motor vehicle. He arrived at Lephalale in Waterberg District on Saturday morning, and as he drove,he offered an unknown male hitchhiker a lift. Along the way, he requested him to assist with accommodation around North West province before he could proceed with his tour across the country.

Preliminary reports indicate that the pair established a friendship to an extent that the victim requested the man to drive his vehicle. On arrival at the said accommodation, supposingly in Moruleng,
the suspect suggested they pass by a liquor outlet where they had a few drinks. That’s when the suspect informed his two friends that the elderly man is expecting a substantial amount of money from his family abroad.

The suspect and his two friends drove with the unsuspecting victim to his place, where upon arrival, they tied him up and started to assault him while demanding his bank pin code. They also searched him and took an undisclosed amount of cash and other valuables.

The three suspects removed the vehicle’s number plates and drove with the victim while assaulting him to Northam in Limpopo Province using a secluded gravel road. When they reached a certain farm, two suspects dragged the victim from the vehicle to dump him in the bushes, while the driver remained in the vehicle.

The security officials, together with a member of a Rural Safety while patrolling, they noticed a suspicious vehicle parked at night and without number plates. They stopped to investigate, and that’s when they noticed the suspect’s blood-stained t-shirt, and they notified the Police.

Upon their arrival, they started with their initial investigations, and the victim’s body was found in the bushes. The two suspects had already fled the scene. An intelligence driven operation was activated, and the two suspects were arrested in Northwest province later in the evening, in possession of some of the deceased’s belongings.

“The victim had trusted this ruthless criminal, but he turned against him and, together with his friends, tortured and brutally killed him.

“We will work hard to secure a water tight case that will result in a lengthy conviction for these perpetrators”, said Lieutenant General Hadebe.

The three foreign national suspects are expected to appear before the Northam Magistrate’s Court on Monday, 26 February 2024, on charges, including murder.

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