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Intern Shongile Pretty Nkwashu.

Medical intern allegedly murdered by boyfriend, suspect behind bars

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The Police in Mankweng have arrested a 25-year-old suspect in connection with the murder of a medical intern whose body was found in her room at Mankweng Hospital on Sunday evening.
Provincial Police Communications Head, Motlafela Mojapelo indicated that a witness visiting the hospital was informed of a bad smell coming from one of the rooms and upon closer inspection, allegedly found the room locked from the outside.
The Police were called and the door broken whereupon the body of the deceased (25), already in an early stage of decomposition, was found on the bed.
According to Mojapelo investigations commenced immediately and the suspect, believed to have been the deceased’s boyfriend, traced and arrested in Giyani on Monday.
He added that the motive behind the killing was at this stage unknown and Police investigations were continuing.
The suspect was expected to appear in Mankweng Magistrates’ Court yesterday (Wednesday), Mojapelo concluded.
Health MEC Phophi Ramathuba has reportedly reacted with shock, pain and sadness to the news of the death of the deceased identified as Shongile Pretty Nkwashu from Dzumeri village, Giyani.
Ramathuba’s spokesperson Thilivhali Muavha stated that Nkwashu had been one of a number of interns who started work with the department at the beginning of the year.
Ramathuba was quoted to have said: “I am saddened by the death of this young doctor who has just completed her studies and the mystery surrounding her death. I was expecting more from her and the contributions in improving our health care system. It is very sad and painful to lose young people in this manner. We have started the year on a painful note.
We recently also laid to rest a 26-year-old professional nurse stationed at Seleka Clinic who was allegedly killed by her boyfriend. We will work with the Police and through our Forensic Unit, together we won’t rest until we find out what happened to our young, beautiful and smart doctor.”
Ramathuba reportedly visited the Nkwashu family on Monday to convey her heartfelt condolences.
Premier Stan Mathabatha has reportedly hailed the Police for the swift arrest of the suspect and further instructed Transport and Community Safety MEC Dickson Masemola, Ramathuba and Social Development MEC Nkakareng Rakgoale to make their presence felt as in the past.
Mathabatha was quoted in a statement to have said: “We can’t keep on burying young people like this every weekend. We reiterate our call that whenever there are challenges, family structures, churches, the Police and social workers are there to assist. Let us utilise them before resorting to extreme measures.”
Masemola stated that while the motive behind the killing is unknown and with Police investigations continuing, he calls on the Police to ensure that every possible detail is uncovered to aid justice to be served to the latter. He added that Limpopo has had several such incidents and the Police must stop at nothing to send the strongest possible message through this case to potential perpetrators out there.

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