A 1-year-old toddler was allegedly strangled to death by a relative [22] at Zuma View in Bela Bela, Limpopo on Sunday. The incident reportedly happened around 13:00.

According to reports, the toddler’s mother was outside the room, while the toddler was inside asleep when the suspect [nephew] entered the room and found the child asleep and strangled him.

ALSO READ: Man kills relative whom he accused of stealing his belongings  

The grandfather of the toddler was called for help, and he pushed the suspect away. The child was taken to the nearest hospital for medical attention but was later pronounced dead.

Limpopo toddler strangled to death by his relative in Bela-Bela
Crime Scene

Commissioner of the South African Police Service in Limpopo, Lieutenant General Thembi Hadebe, unequivocally condemned the incident. She urged the parents to ensure that their children are protected at all times. The suspect will appear before Bela Bela Magistrate’s court on charges of murder. 

SHOCK AS A TODDLER STRANGLED TO DEATH BY A RELATIVE IN BELA-BELA

MEC for Social Development, Ms Florence Radzilani has also condemned the incident.  “What kind of a human being brutally attacks and kills an innocent toddler this way,” she said. 

“This is preposterous and it must be condemned in the strongest possible terms,” said Radzilani. The MEC added that while she is pleased that the suspect has been arrested, she hopes for a positive conviction and a sentence which will bring justice to the victim and his family.

Police in Bela-Bela, Limpopo have launched a manhunt for awaiting trial suspect Jimmy Chauke who escaped from prison.

According to information Chauke [31] escaped from Bela Bela Magistrate’s court on Wednesday, 07 February at about 08:05. He was arrested in connection with two cases of burglary of residence that took place around Bela Bela in March and December 2023.

ALSO READ: Waterberg rapist sentenced to 25 years imprisonment 

The circumstances surrounding his daring escape are the subject of investigation. The initial reports suggest that the suspect was brought to court from a holding cell to consult with his legal representative. A case of escape from lawful custody was opened for further investigation.

MANHUNT FOR BELA-BELA AWAITING TRIAL SUSPECT WHO ESCAPED FROM CUSTODY

The Acting Provincial Commissioner of Police Service in Limpopo, Major General Jan Scheepers, has strongly condemned the incident. He has called for his immediate rearrest.

Police are appealing to members of the public. Including the families of the suspect, to assist with information that may lead to his re-arrest. Anyone with information may contact Bela Bela Detective-Commander Lieutenant Colonel Maswanganyi on 082 414 2704. Crime Stop number 08600 10111, the nearest police station, or send information on MySAPSApp.

THE THABAZIMBI REGIONAL COURT METE OUT EFFECTIVE 15 YEARS IMPRISONMENT TO FOUR ACCUSED

Meanwhile, the Thabazimbi Regional Court has meted out a lengthy imprisonment sentence to four accused on Tuesday.

The Court heard that the four accused, Amos Moyane (45), Senzo Tshabalala (35), Mandla Mbosheni (37) and Edias Chippa (45) were among a group of suspects that were to poach rhinos in Lephalale.

Awaiting trial suspect escape from custody in Bela-Bela
Crime Scene

On the same day, on 30 October 2021, the suspects were also arrested for conspiracy to poach Rhino. Also for possession of firearms and ammunition without license at the Hoopdal policing area, following a tipoff. During the arrest members of the Stock Theft and Endangered Species Unit (STES), Thabazimbi Reservists and Hoopdal Police recovered firearms, ammunition, silencer and knives.

Further investigations and suspects were linked through DNA to a Rhino poaching case that occurred at the Gravelotte policing area.

A long-wanted gang leader in Nebo, Limpopo was nabbed while driving to a liquor store to purchase liquor. The 40-year-old suspect was found in his possession of a prohibited firearm, a Cz 75 pistol 9mm with 09 live ammunition. The police effected an arrest on Thursday, 02 November 2023.

ALSO READ: MEC Rodgers Monama raids illegal Spaza Shops in Mankweng  

It is believed that the arrested suspect is the leader of the gang that is reported to be terrorizing the foreign national business owners within the Nebo area. An intelligence-driven operation was conducted and he was found in possession of firearms and ammunition.

RELIEF AS GANG LEADER IS ARRESTED IN NEBO

“The Police are hard on the heels of the rest of the members of a gang believed to be accomplices to the arrested suspect in a series of crimes committed in Nebo policing precinct,” said the Police. He is expected to appear before Nebo Magistrate’s Court on Monday, 06 November 2023.

FARM ROBBERY IN MAKHADO LIMPOPO

Meanwhile, Police in Makhado are on a massive manhunt for suspects who committed house breaking at a farm situated along Elim Road. The incident took place in the early hours of Saturday, 04 November 2023.

It is alleged by the complainant that on Friday, 03 November 2023 at around 13:00. He left his house to go to Bela-Bela.

The following day, he received a call from his father informing him that there was a house breaking. On his arrival, he found that the suspects gained entrance through the front door.

They ransacked the house and stole a small safe with a pistol, five ammunition and four rifles from the main safe in his bedroom. As well as an undisclosed amount of money.

The Police were summoned to the scene. A case of housebreaking was opened for further investigation.

A Data Capturer official attached to the Limpopo Department of Health stationed at Bela Bela Clinic has been arrested for selling ARVs. The employee was arrested by the police on Thursday night after an investigation found him with boxes of ARVs.

He was caught trying to sell to an undocumented foreign national of Nigerian descent.

ALSO READ: Police captain arrested for alleged corruption in Bela Bela 

The Limpopo Department of Health has welcomed the arrested and called for the law to take its course.

“The department views this arrest as a breakthrough against rogue elements in the department,” read a statement.

OFFICIAL CAUGHT SELLING ARVs TO A NIGERIAN NATIONAL

“This causes shortages of medication, which affect community members badly. Considering that illegal foreign nationals are also eligible to receive any form of medication in our facilities, we can only believe that perhaps these pills were being used to manufacture illegal drug substances.

“They [drugs] are a huge challenge to the youth of Bela Bela. The department will work with the police. To ensure that anyone who is implicated in these horrendous acts of theft is arrested and incarcerated accordingly.”

Suspects have been arrested after a truck loaded with groceries was hijacked on the N1 near Pienaarsrivier on Thursday night. 

The two suspects are believed to be part of a gang involved in truck hijacking syndicate operating in multiple provinces.

GROCERY TRUCK HIJACKED IN LIMPOPO 

Their arrest groceries and traveling from Bela Bela towards the Gauteng province. It was forced to stop by suspects driving in a white Toyota Corolla before it could get on the N1 freeway north bound.

Two male suspects came out of the motor vehicle and forcibly removed the driver from the truck at gun point and into their own vehicle.

One of the suspects got into the truck which was then driven towards the N1 freeway south bound. It was escorted by his accomplices using a silver Ford Ranger and Toyota Corolla.

Truck Hijacked in Bela Bela
Truck Hijacked in Bela Bela

The local police were alerted about the incident and immediately called for backup.

They were also joined by members from Bela-Bela and Hammanskraal SAPS.

The hijacked truck was spotted near the Carousel Tollgate. When the police approached it, the occupants of the Ford Ranger started to shoot at the police. The Police retaliated forcing the Ford Ranger to a standstill under a hail of bullets.

The two suspects from the Ford Ranger were arrested and the third suspect who was driving the truck managed to escape after he ran into the nearby bushes on foot.

The suspects who were driving the other vehicle with the truck driver inside also managed to evade the arrest.

The driver was later dropped off around Tembisa in Gauteng province. 

The two arrested suspects aged 33 and 57 will soon appear in court facing charges ranging from attempted hijacking, malicious damage to property, attempted murder to possession of suspected stolen properties 

Manhunt for the remaining suspects continues