A 36-year-old Zimbabwean man was arrested for allegedly kidnapping and killing seven women, among them a fellow countrywoman in Limpopo province, South Africa after luring them on the pretext that he was offering them jobs.
Themba Dube, who was allegedly involved in a series of kidnappings and murder of his victims between July last year and August this year, was on the run until his arrest this month.
He was arrested after he was found in possession of a suspected stolen cellphone that belonged to one of his victims.
Limpopo spokesperson for the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) Ms Mashudu Malabi-Dzhangi said Dube faces seven charges of kidnapping and seven counts of murder.
The alleged serial killer appeared yesterday at Seshego Magistrate’s Court facing seven counts of murder, kidnapping, robber and defeating the course of justice.
He was remanded in custody to 27 January next year pending further investigations.
Dube’s victims include Sarah Moitswadi Mathiba (42), who was reportedly kidnapped at Lebowakgomo last month. 34-year-old Lesotho national, Moleboheng Mothibeli, who was reported missing in Polokwane in October and Eva Khomotso Makhura (41), who was reported missing at Seshego last month.
Other victims include Mpho Sanah Sinyatsi (34), Andrea Cholo (25), Chisimango Gumbo (48), a Zimbabwean, who was reported missing at Seshego in August and Jane Letswalo (42), whose body was found next to Peter Mokaba Stadium.
Dube’s modus operandi was to lure women to Limpopo with the promise of employment.
“The accused was still in custody when the investigations led to the discovery of seven bodies of women dumped at different locations in Seshego, Polokwane, Mankweng and Westenburg policing areas,” said Malabi-Dzhangi.
She said the following victims had been positively identified by their next of kin. However, forensic investigations are underway to determine if the bodies positively match those of the deceased.
“Police investigations are continuing to determine if the suspect can be linked with other cases. We are appealing to anyone who might have a family member missing around Seshego, Mankweng, Lebowakgomo, Polokwane and surrounding areas to contact their nearest police station,” said Ms Malabi-Dzhangi.
Dube was on police wated list in connection with at least 14 charges of rape and robbery.
Limpopo provincial spokesperson for the SAPS Brigadier Motlafela Mojapelo said the horrific crimes were committed between July last year and August this year.
“It is alleged that the suspect committed these despicable acts in the Tzaneen policing area under Mopani District at Pharare, Mogophong, Mogoloboto and Burgersdorp villages. The female victims aged between 22 and 46 were reportedly lured by the suspect, who falsely advertised non-existent domestic and security employment opportunities on social media, Facebook platform,” Brig Mojapelo said.
He said the suspect patiently waited for the unsuspecting victims at taxi ranks and bus terminals. On their arrival, he would make some excuses and walk with the victims utilising a road that passes through the bush to arrive at their destination.
“He would then ultimately rape and rob them of their belongings and then flee the scene,” said Brig Mojapelo.
After tracking him for three months, officers arrested Dube on 6 November at Letaba hospital.
“This after he was admitted with a gunshot wound allegedly sustained in Burgersdorp village near a graveyard on 2 November 2021,” said Brig Mojapelo. Chronicle