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Angry residents are addressed by the police after the gruesome discovery.

‘Community leaders failed to assist us’

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The family of Kgothatso Pula is pointing fingers at community leaders for their alleged failure to assist them to search for her after she went missing in January.
Kgothatso’s remains were found buried in a shallow grave at her boyfriend’s home in Ga-Setati village in Moletjie on Friday.
A 30-year-old man was arrested after the gruesome discovery and appeared in the Seshego Magistrate’s Court on charges of kidnapping and murder, on Monday.
The Provincial Police Communications Head Motlafela Mojapelo emphasised that the suspect was remanded in custody and his case was postponed for formal bail application.
Mojapelo added that the motive for the incident is not known at this stage and police investigations continue.
During a telephonic interview with Polokwane Observer, the bereaved family spokesperson, Edwin Pula alleged that they did not receive any form of assistance from community leaders after the disappearance of Kgothatso.
Although he could not name and shame the leaders in question, he stressed that it was hurting to be sidelined by those entrusted with the responsibilities of leading a community. According to him, community meetings were never convened to deliberate on Kgothatso’s disappearance.
Pula further claimed that the family was rather insulted when they voiced their suspicions.
“The family of the suspect and one community leader insulted us on a number of occasions for trying to get answers from the accused. They said we were wrongfully accusing the suspect and threatened the family with a fine.
“They said we would be forced to buy them a cow if we continue questioning the suspect. But now the same family is requesting the same community leader to ask us for forgiveness.
“Our focus is now on the DNA tests, funeral arrangements and finding justice for our child. We have lost faith in people so now we just believe in God,” Pula narrated.
He added that they don’t want to put too much hope in the justice system and reiterated that they believe God will do things His way.
Pula went on to stress that thus far, they don’t know when they will bury her because they are still waiting for DNA tests which, according to the police, might take at least two months or more.
He described Kgothatso as a humble and quiet person.
Pula thanked individuals for coming out in their numbers to support the family during the suspect’s first court appearance on Monday.
He concluded by saying only one family member was allowed in the courtroom, and it was motivating to see a large crowd outside the court in support of the family.
Earlier, Mojapelo highlighted that what was initially thought to be a case of a missing person, turned out to be a gruesome murder.
He further stated that Kgothatso went missing on 2 January at about 20:00 after she was said to have visited her boyfriend.
A search operation was then embarked upon but she was not found.
He added that the missing person enquiry was then transferred to the Provincial Investigations Unit.
Mojapelo reiterated that members of the team received information that led them to the spot where the remains were exhumed.
He concluded by saying the suspect was then arrested and is facing charges of kidnapping and murder.

Story and photos: ENDY SENYATSI
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The remains of a woman who was found buried in a shallow grave.