Abducted Limpopo woman’s body found in Benoni mine shaft

Malope was lured and forcefully shoved in a boot of a Toyota Sedan in May by two men.

On Monday police retrieved the body of Refiloe Malope, the Limpopo woman who was abducted by two men at Kgaphamadi village, outside Groblersdal in May.

Malope’s body was found deep in a mine shaft in Benoni, along with another unidentified body.

Two suspects, including a police officer stationed at Benoni police station, were arrested for her abduction and murder last week.


Malope was lured by a man under the pretence that he was looking for assistance after his vehicle broke down in the village.

When Malope and the man reached the car, a second suspect suddenly emerged and the two men forcibly shoved her into the boot of a white Toyota sedan.

The suspects then fled towards Motsephiri, southeast of Gemsbokspruit.

Neighbours who heard Malope’s frantic screams then alerted the police and a search operation for her and the suspects ensued.

Retrieval of the body

The search operation led the police to Gauteng.

On Friday, a special camera spotted the body at the bottom of the shaft but the search for Malope was halted as they had to outsource specialised equipment to retrieve the body.

The search teams resumed with the operation on Monday morning and successfully retrieved the body, which was positively identified as Malope.

They also found another unidentified body in the mine shaft. Investigations are underway to determine the identity and the cause of death.


The suspects – police sergeant Thabo Letudi Moses Mokoana and Modirelwa Maxwell Mokoana – face charges of kidnapping, murder and defeating the ends of justice. They will appear before the Nebo Magistrate’s Court on Thursday for formal bail application.

“Our search efforts led us to Gauteng province and 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,” said the Provincial Commissioner of Police in Limpopo, General Thembi Hadebe.

Additional information by Narissa Subramoney

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