School principal also arrested after murder of education official

Henry

A school principal has now also been arrested in connection with the murder of an official of the department of education who was shot dead during a suspected house robbery.

Dr. Malekutu Johannes Mehlape (56), a regional manager of the department, was shot dead at his home in Mankweng in Limpopo on 28 December. His daughter, Mologadi (28), was arrested earlier in connection with his murder.

It is unclear at this stage how Mologadi is connected to her father’s murder.

Mehlodi Melida Mathole (42), a school principal and the sister-in-law of the murdered official, is one of the youngest suspects to be arrested.

She appeared in the Mankweng Magistrate’s Court on Thursday together with her co-accused, Sello Michael Molongoane (49), Hlofelo Mogotlane (33), Tshepo Ranoto (34) and Mologadi Mehlape, who were arrested in Mankweng and Zebediela respectively.

Earlier it was reported that Mologadi was attacked when she came home after a function and was forced into the house. The attackers apparently insisted that she say where her father was. They reportedly demanded cash from Mehlape and shot him dead after which they fled.

The case was adjourned until Wednesday for a bail application and further investigation and the five face charges of murder, conspiracy to commit murder and possession of an unlicensed firearm.

Col. Malesela Ledwaba, police spokesperson in Limpopo, says two of the suspects were arrested on Wednesday after an intensive investigation.

The principal was subsequently arrested in Moremadi Park after a warrant was granted.

Another suspect was arrested in Mahwelereng. A pistol from which the serial number had been removed was found on him. The preliminary investigation showed that this weapon was presumably used in the murder of Mehlape.

The suspects were apprehended thanks to the team of investigators, the provincial detection team, provincial murder and robbery unit and private security companies, says Ledwaba.

“During the arrest, the police also seized a double-cab Ford Ranger which was apparently used to commit the crime.”

In the meantime, the investigation continues.