Mpumalanga police have launched a manhunt following the discovery of an 80-year-old woman's body stashed in a freezer in Pankop, near Mmamethlake.
According to Colonel Donald Mdhluli, the preliminary investigation suggests that the victim was staying with her 10-year-old grandson and a caregiver from Lesotho.
The woman had been hired by the family to look after the elderly woman.
“On Monday, the young boy came back from school, only to find that there was nobody at home.
“He realised that the door to the house was wide open but the burglar door was locked. He then began to ask neighbours of the whereabouts of his granny and the caregiver,” said Mdhluli.
The neighbours tried to assist in the search, while other family members were informed about the matter.
However, the neighbours became suspicious when they noticed a coffee table, gas stove and a TV set placed on top of the freezer during their quest to find the grandmother.
“They then removed the items and discovered the lifeless body of the elderly woman inside the freezer,” said Mdhluli.
The police and medical personnel were called to the scene, where the victim was certified dead. A case of murder has since been opened.
Mdhluli said they are now looking for a woman known as MmaThato, as they believe that she can assist immensely in the investigation.
Members of the public, who know her whereabouts, are also urged to contact Detective Captain Solomon Moshime at 082 065 1355 or call the Crime Stop number on 08600 10111. Alternatively, a tip-off can be given on the MySAPSApp.
All information will be treated as confidential and callers may opt to remain anonymous.
Mdhluli said a similar incident occurred recently, where a caregiver assaulted a 91-year-old woman at Valbank, a few kilometres from Mmamethlake.
“After the incident, the 45-year-old suspect fled the scene and the matter was brought to the attention of the police, who opened a case of assault with intent to inflict grievous bodily harm.”
The suspect, who is allegedly from Lesotho, was subsequently arrested in Pretoria.
She is expected to appear in the Mbibana Magistrate's Court on Friday, where she is expected to apply for bail.
“The police have strongly condemned the incident, as well as the vicious attack on senior citizens because these incidents once again depict serious moral decay in the society,” Mdhluli said.