The late Mpho Netili, who was found murdered in a disused house at Khwekhwe. Photo supplied.
The small village of Hamutsha Khwekhwe, located outside Louis Trichardt, was shaken by another murder over the past weekend. This brings the number of killings in the past month to three.
On Sunday, 8 October, 17-year-old Ondwela Mulelu was allegedly poisoned and killed by her lover, Orinea Mangwane, who then hanged himself. Their lifeless bodies were discovered in his room at Dzwerani.
Members of the local community were still trying to come to terms with these tragic deaths when news broke of yet another killing. The partially clothed body of another local woman, Mpho Netili, was found by a passerby in an abandoned house in the area on Sunday afternoon, 22 October.
Netili, aged 33, was a well-known entrepreneur and a prominent member of the ANC Women’s League. The circumstances surrounding her death remain unclear and were the subject of police investigations at the time of our report. However, Vhembe SAPS communications officer W/O Vuledzani Dathi confirmed the incident.
“On receiving the report, the police rushed to a disused house in the village, where the woman was found lying on her back. There were bruises on her face and blood coming from her nose. She was positively identified by her brother, Mr Tshifhiwa Netili, who said that he last saw her at the local Madala Makone Bar Lounge on Friday, 19 October,” said Dathi.
A murder case was promptly opened.
Ward 3 Councillor for Makhado Municipality Cllr Lutendo Phangami, who has been providing assistance to the family since the incident, expressed the community’s deep shock. “We have recently lost a young girl who left a very young child behind, and now this. This is too much for us. We cannot keep burying our young ones who should be growing up to be future leaders. Moreover, they did not die of natural causes, but as victims of crime. We, as leaders, are profoundly disturbed. Netili was the breadwinner in a child-headed family. She took on odd jobs and worked diligently to provide for her siblings, ensuring they never went to bed hungry. We do not even know where to find the funds for a proper burial,” he lamented.
Dathi appealed to the community to assist the police in the search for Netili’s killers. “The suspects remain unidentified and at large. Any information that can aid us in their apprehension can be conveyed to the investigating officer, Sgt Thivhusiwi Charles Mabai, at 076 323 5221 or 015 583 7400,” he urged.
Date:27 October 2023
Elmon Tshikhudo started off as a photographer. He developed an interest in writing and started submitting articles to local as well as national publications. He became part of the Limpopo Mirror family in 2005 and was a permanent part of the news team until 2019.