BY REX MPHISA
POLICE in South Africa have through Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) identified the remaining five women allegedly slain by a Zimbabwean serial killer now known as “the notorious Polokwane serial killer.
The accused, Prince Dube aged 34, was linked to the murders of seven women kidnapped or went missing in Seshego, Mankweng and Polokwane since August 2021.
Dube of Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, faces charges of murder, rape, kidnapping, robbery and defeating the ends of justice and five of his suspected victims had not been identified until the latest development.
The five identified through DNA investigations are Sarah Moitswadi Mothiba (42), said to have been kidnapped at Lebowakgomo and reported missing in October last year.
A 34 year-old Lesotho national, Moleboheng Mothibeli, reported missing in Polokwane in the same month was also identified together with Eva Khomotso Makhura aged (41) who went missing at Seshego in the same month.
Mpho Sanah Sinyatsi (34), who was reported missing from Luthuli Park under Seshego policing area in October 2021 and Zimbabwean Chisimango Gumbo (48), were also reported missing at Seshego during August 2021.
“The remains of the victims were released to the bereaved families following the receipt of DNA results which conclusively identified all the deceased,” South African Police Service spokesman for Limpopo Province Brigadier Motlafela Mojapelo said in a press statement yesterday.
Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) is an organic chemical containing genetic information and instructions for protein synthesis found in most cells of every organism.
DNA is a key part of reproduction in which genetic heredity occurs through the passing down of DNA from parent or parents to offspring and has been used in cracking some of the world’s most sophisticated murders and accidents.
“Dube’s next court appearance is Monday 28 February 2022 in Seshego magistrate court. He is still in custody, said Mojapelo.
He said burial of the five of the seven bodies had been shelved due to the outstanding DNA test results.
Only two bodies could be positively identified and were consequently handed over to the families for burial.
Dube, was initially arrested for possession of a suspected stolen cellphone which police later established through investigation belonged to a woman allegedly kidnapped in Lebowakgomo last year.
“When the initial investigations pointed to the possible involvement of a serial killer whose modus operandi was to lure women and promise them employment, the Provincial Commissioner of Police in Limpopo Lieutenant General Thembi Hadebe ordered that a team of investigators led by a senior officer be established to probe the disappearance of women in the Capricorn District,” Mojapelo said.
The investigations soon led to the discoveries of seven bodies of women dumped at different locations in Seshego, Polokwane, Mankweng and Westenburg policing areas and the subsequent linking of the suspects to these murders.
“The positive identification of the remains of the deceased is the next step in a chapter of one of the horrendous crimes that were perpetrated against these women.
“The affected families will not only find solace in the fact that the suspect has been apprehended, but will also find a certain level of closure now that they will be able to bury their loved ones,” Mojapelo quoted Lieutenant General Thembi Hadebe in charge of the province.
Dube’s alleged crime and subsequent appearance on initial remand rocked SA’s northern town of Polokwane where SA nationals rose up against Zimbabweans in xenophobic attacks although this was played down by authorities.