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By Cornelia Le Roux

Digital Deputy News Editor

Police rescue Limpopo toddler locked up in ‘murder-suicide house’

A three-year-old girl was found by police on the grim scene of an apparent murder-suicide in a house on Saturday.

Limpopo police rescued a three-year-old girl on Saturday, 17 February from a house in Ga-Marishane village, Limpopo, where a man was found hanging from the roof and a woman’s body was discovered in a shallow grave outside.

Police spokesperson Colonel Malesela Ledwaba said neighbours raised the alarm after they became aware of an “unpleasant smell” coming from the house.

Police find three-year-old in house with man’s decomposing body

According to Ledwaba, the police found the doors of the house locked when they arrived on the scene of what is believed to have been a tragic murder-suicide.

“They [police] forced entry and found a man hanging on the roof with a rope, in an advanced state of decomposition.”

The spokesperson said a three-year-old girl, who was found unharmed inside the house, came running up to the police and was taken to the hospital.   

It is alleged that a suicide note was found in the house.

Shallow grave

During a search by the K9 Unit, police then found a shallow grave filled with firewood close to the house.

“They [police] dug up the grave and discovered the body of a woman wrapped in blankets. It was in an advanced state of decomposition,” Ledwaba said.  

The deceased have been identified as Johannes Mahlaba, 38, and Magabjane Cecilia Maila, 34.

Police minister releases crime stats

The grim discovery follows the release of the third quarterly crime statistics by Police Minister Bheki Cele on Friday, 16 February.

According to the statistics measured between 1 October and 31 December 202, sexual offences breakdown, rape cases went down by 1.7%, while sexual assaults decreased by 1.9%.

A total of 12 211 rape cases were recorded, showing a decline from 12 419 cases in 2022.

Cele however called it “disturbing and concerning” that the murder rate for the country has increased by 2.1% with a total of 7 710 people murdered during this time.

NOW READ: Crime stats: Most victims raped in their own homes by people they know

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