A 30-year-old man in Limpopo faces a charge of murder after his girlfriend succumbed to burn wounds which were sustained when he intentionally set her on fire.
The suspect is set to make an appearance in the Lenyenye magistrate court in Maake outside Tzaneen on Friday, 21 May 2021, a day after he was arrested, the South African Police Service (SAPS) has said.
The now-deceased woman, 35-year-old Lindiwe Mogale, had reportedly accompanied her purchase petrol at a nearby filling station.
On the way back to the suspect’s home, the couple is believed to have then got into a heated argument.
When they finally arrived, things took a horrific turn.
“The quarrel apparently continued when they arrived at the house. The suspect then poured petrol on his girlfriend and set the house alight. The neighbours were alarmed by the frantic screams and immediately went to the house. Upon arrival, they reportedly found that the victim was engulfed by the fire but managed to put it down”
Brigadier Motlafela Mojapelo, Limpopo SAPS spokesperson
The incident is alleged to have taken place at Tickyline village in the early hours of Thursday morning, 6 May 2021 at about 03:00.
Police further allege that the suspect fled Limpopo for Gauteng, after setting Mogale alight. Meanwhile, she had to be treated for the severe burn injuries she had sustained, as a result of the blaze.
“Cases of attempted murder and arson were then opened and the police commenced with a manhunt for the suspect who had already reportedly fled to Gauteng Province,” said the police’s Brigadier Motlafela Mojapelo.
The man handed himself over to police in Maake.
“The victim succumbed to the injuries in hospital on Friday 14 May 2021 and the attempted murder case was consequently converted into murder,” Mojapelo said.
Limpopo’s Police Commissioner, Lieutenant General Thembi Hadebe has reacted to the alleged incident and further urged communities to seek assistance when facing relationship challenges and not to resort to violent means, as it often leads to loss of life.