Refiloe Malope’s body was retrieved days after a Benoni police sergeant and his accomplice were arrested in connection with her kidnapping.
The body of 31-year-old Refiloe Malope was successfully retrieved from the depths of a mine shaft in Benoni yesterday afternoon.
Malope was allegedly taken by force by two suspects who were seen shoving her into the boot of a sedan in the Kgaphamadi village under the Hlogotlou policing area on May 9.
A police sergeant attached to the Benoni Police Station was arrested on June 21 while at work and his accomplice was apprehended at his hideout on June 22 in the Apel policing precinct, police spokesperson Brigadier Motlafela Mojapelo said.
Mojapelo said the search for Malope’s body was halted on Friday after the body was spotted at the bottom of the shaft with the use of a special camera and that the retrieval required specialised equipment that had to be sourced.
“The operation comprised of various units including Search and Rescue Units of the South African Police Service from Benoni, Tshwane, Sedibeng, the West Rand and Tshwane K9 Units the Ekhuruleni and Tshwane’s Municipality Disaster Teams, the Limpopo Provincial Organized Crime Unit, the Provincial Crime Scene Investigation Unit and Hlogotlou Detectives,” he said.
Retrieval of the body resumed yesterdat morning and after four hours, the body was brought to the ground and positively identified as that of the missing Malope.
Mojapelo added that another unidentified body was also retrieved from the same mine shaft and investigations are underway to determine the identity and the cause of death.
“We hope that the recovery of Malope’s remains will bring closure to the family as much as it strengthens our case against the accused,” the Provincial Police Commissioner Lieutenant General Hadebe said.
The two suspects arrested will next appear before the Nebo Magistrate’s Court on Thursday for formal bail application and face charges of kidnapping, murder and defeating the ends of justice.