Little progress on murder case

Seipati Lechoano

More than six weeks after the body of Seipati Lechoano, slain employee of the Mangaung Metro Municipality, was found in the boot of her car at the Bram Fischer building’s basement parking, the police have made little progress in apprehending the culprits.
The incident caused quite a stir on social media. Her body was discovered with her hands and feet tied.

Police spokesperson, Thandi Mbambo, earlier told Bloemfontein Courant the police were doing everything in their power to bring the culprits in the matter to book. “We are not at liberty to discuss the details pertaining to the investigation. The fact that people are insinuating that this case is not receiving attention because of the race of the victim, is far from the truth.”

According to an independent crime analyst and former Head of the Crime Information Analysis Centre, Chris de Kock, this is a complex case. “It’s not easy as people continue to speculate about the motive for the murder and who may be involved in the victim’s death,” De Kock said.

He said what is especially worrying in the case is the fact that the police alluded to the fact that “tests may take a while” and this might mean that the longer the investigation, the smaller the chances of a positive outcome.

De Kock referred Bloemfontein Courant back to the case of slain former Orlando Pirates and Bafana Bafana captain, Senzo Meyiwa, who was killed back in 2014 by an assailant who is still being sought by the police.

“In the case of Meyiwa, the first clue that was followed was robbery and somebody was arrested in a very short time, just to be released later. That approach will damage the Lechoano case and provide an escape route for the real murderers,” he said.

He emphasised that the investigator really has to think of all possible motives for Lechoano’s death, which may include “accidental death” during a fight, a lovers’ triangle, a family feud or a robbery, among others.

De Kock said the South African Police Service’s Annual report of 2017/2018 indicated that there were 20 277 murders in SA in that financial year, while only 12 240 arrests for murder were made, with a conviction rate of a mere 4 016 achieved. – Lucky Nkuyane