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The hole that was dug below the room.

Arrest after discovery of tunnel below house

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Residents of Makgofe village in Mmotong area got the shock of their lives when summoned to a local household on Sunday morning where it was discovered that a tenant had just about filled his rental room with soil from a trench dug below apparently with the purpose of gaining access to the main house.
Provincial Police Communications Head Motlafelo Mojapelo confirmed the incident and identified the accused as Sello Andries Mokgolong (43). He stated that the accused was facing a charge of malicious damage to property.
He appeared before the Seshego Magistrate’s Court on Monday and the case was remanded to 24 February for formal bail application, Mojapelo explained. During a telephonic conversation with Polokwane Observer, Mojapelo stressed that the charge might change depending on what was found in the hole or the soil in the room.

A view of the hole that was dug in the floor of the tenant’s room.

When Polokwane Observer got to the scene to witness the discovery and acquire first-hand information on Sunday, it was found that the room was filled with soil from the hole. Disgruntled residents who could not contain their anger exchanged harsh words with the Police as they demanded that the suspect enter the hole and show them what was hidden in it. Since the hole had water at the bottom, some claimed that there was a dangerous snake while others assumed that the suspect had buried a corpse and was awaiting a perfect moment to bury the body in the hole.
The landlord, Sarah Sebata indicated that she made the shocking discovery on Friday when she found the door to the tenant’s room slightly open. She emphasised that it was unusual for the suspect to leave the door unlocked and reiterated that she nearly had a heart attack when she saw the room full of soil. She further stressed that she couldn’t believe her eyes when she saw a huge hole in the room. According to her, she and her four children used to hear sounds of tools being used coming from the tenant’s room every night.

Soil from a huge hole that was dug by a tenant in his rented room.

Sebata added that the suspect had told her family that he prepared his traditional herbs in the evening hence the noise and assured them there was no need for concern. She said Mokgolong was a family friend whom she had given accommodation for free of charge: “We requested him to clean the yard as payment and we never expected such acts from him. I saw the hole on Friday following a housebreaking incident at my house on the same day. The perpetrator stole my phone. I suspect the tenant was active in digging the hole in the mornings because he was always left alone as I would have been at work and my children at school,” Sebata explained.
She went on to stress that they were seeking answers because they wanted to know what was contained in the hole. She mentioned that since the discovery of the hole her children were afraid to stay at home. Sebata assumed that the suspect seemingly wanted to use the hole to access the main house and rape her three daughters: “I just don’t know what to think anymore. This is just too much for my family and the suspect must pay for his criminal actions.”

Story/photos: ENDY SENYATSI
>>endy@observer.co.za

Angry community members gather on the street following the shocking discovery.