Cele: Police trying to establish motive for Precious Ramabulana’s murder

The Police Minister confirmed on Thursday that a man was arrested days after the Capricorn TVET college student was stabbed 52 times.

Police Minister Bheki Cele addressed the media on 28 November 2019. Picture: Abigail Javier/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Police Minister Bheki Cele on Thursday said he was disturbed by the brutality of Precious Ramabulana’s murder.

Cele confirmed that a man was arrested days after the Capricorn TVET college student was stabbed 52 times. The 21-year-old was attacked in her room off campus on Sunday.

The minister said the suspect was found in possession of her phone.

“We are trying to understand the motive behind the murder, but the one thing that helps us currently is that he has begun to confess. We also found the victim’s phone in his possession,” Cele said.

WATCH: Police Minister Bheki Cele reacts to Ramabulana’s murder

Cele said it seemed the suspect Ramabulana was not known to Ramabulana, which raised questions about the motive.

"Initially everybody had thought it was the same trend of boyfriends. But it looks like it's somebody that is not even known to this young woman or was part of the student group. We have nothing to link him to her as yet."

He’s confident police have the right person in custody as her cellphone was found in his possession.

Ramabulana will be laid to rest on Friday.

President Cyril Ramaphosa had directed Cele to avail all necessary resources in Ramabulana’s murder investigation.

Her death sparked widespread outrage, with renewed calls for perpetrators of gender-based violence to be dealt with harshly.

Presidency spokesperson Khusela Diko on Wednesday said Ramaphosa was angry about Ramabulana’s murder.

“President Cyril Ramaphosa has expressed his horror and outrage at the murder of Precious Ramabulana. He has directed the minister of police to bring her killer to book,” she said.

Additional reporting by Thando Kubheka.