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Diepsloot: violent protests after arrests

Residents embark on violent protests following arrests in connection with the double murder.

Violence has broken out in the Diepsloot township, north of Johannesburg, following the arrests of five people in connection with the murders of two toddlers in the area. Picture: Vumani Mkhize/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Violence has broken out in the Diepsloot township, north of Johannesburg, following the arrests of five people in connection with the murders of two toddlers in the area.

The bodies of two- and three-year-old Zandile and Yonelisa Mali were discovered in a toilet cubicle on Tuesday after they went missing on Saturday.

Angry residents have blocked off roads and there is now a heavy police presence.

A man who has just driven past the area says the situation is chaotic.

"They just closed off the road from Sandton to Diepsloot. As we drove away there were shots fired as well. There is a police van that's just passed us, they're re-routing the traffic around that particular area."

Hundreds of people have also gathered outside a satellite police station in the township where they have started demonstrating.

The suspects are accused of kidnapping, molesting and murdering the two young girls.

Earlier today the fifth suspect in the murder case was arrested in Alexandra, also north of Johannesburg, following a tip-off from the community.

The 29-year-old man is the main suspect.

While the police haven't confirmed the news, it's being reported he has confessed to the rape and murders of the two children.

He is expected to appear in court next week Monday.

The four other suspects, who handed themselves over to the police this week, are appearing in court and have been formally charged.

An identity parade is expected to take place soon and it's understood the state will ask for a postponement in the case while investigations continue.

Meanwhile, the families of the victims are not attending court proceedings as they are believed to be making funeral arrangements.