Hitchhikers who robbed and murdered a German tourist arrested

CRIME

By Agreement Mabunda

POLOKWANE-The police have swiftly arrested three suspects who allegedly assaulted and killed a male German tourist at the weekend.

The incident took place at Northam in the Waterberg District on Saturday 24 February 2024.

According to the police, the 74-year-old victim departed from Botswana on Friday and drove to South Africa in a sedan.

He arrived at Lephalale in the Waterberg District on Saturday morning, and as he drove, he offered an unknown male hitchhiker a lift.

Along the way, he requested him to assist with accommodation around North West province before  proceeding with his tour across the country.

Preliminary reports indicate that the pair established a friendship to an extent that the victim requested the man to drive his vehicle.

On arrival at the said accommodation, the suspect suggested they make a turn at a liquor outlet where they had a few drinks.

“That’s when the suspect informed his two friends that the elderly man is expecting a substantial amount of money from his family abroad. The suspect and his two friends drove with the unsuspecting victim to his place [and] upon arrival, they tied him up and started to assault him while demanding his bank pin code.

“They also searched him and took an undisclosed amount of cash and other valuables,” said police in a statement on Sunday.

The three suspects removed the vehicle’s number plates and drove with the tourist to Northam in Limpopo using a secluded gravel road.

When they reached a particular farm, two suspects dragged the victim from the vehicle where they dumped him in the bushes, while the driver remained in the vehicle.

While patrolling, security officials noticed the suspicious vehicle parked at night and without number plates.

They stopped to investigate, and noticed one of the suspect’s blood-stained t-shirts, and they notified the police.

“Upon their arrival, they started with their initial investigations, and the victim’s body was found in the bushes. The two suspects had already fled the scene. An intelligence driven operation was activated, and the two suspects were arrested in the North West province later in the evening, in possession of some of the deceased’s belongings.”

The three – aged between 24 and 46 – are expected to appear before the Northam Magistrate’s Court on Monday, 26 February 2024, on charges that include murder.

“We will work hard to secure a water-tight case that will result in a lengthy conviction for these perpetrators,” said Lieutenant General Hadebe. –

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