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Ipid investigating death of suspect who confessed to uMthwalume murders

Siphamandla Khomo (41) is believed to have hanged himself while in police custody in the early hours of Monday morning.

Port Shepstone police and various search and rescue units search the uMthwalume area on KwaZulu-Natal's south coast on 11 August 2020 after Hibberdene police were informed about a body that was found by locals. Another body was found on 12 August 2020. Picture: @SAPoliceService/Twitter

DURBAN - Police Minister Bheki Cele on Monday said that a suspect linked to the killing of four of five women in uMthwalume confessed to their murders before he died by suicide.

Siphamandla Khomo (41) is believed to have hanged himself while in police custody in the early hours of Monday morning.

“Unfortunately, early this morning, we received information that the guy has committed suicide. The Ipid is investigating. We will wait for the report of the Ipid, and you know, as the law says, if they die in the hands of the police, Ipid must investigate,” Cele said.

Khomo had been in police custody since Thursday after he was initially taken in for questioning, together with a 35-year-old man. The charges against the man were dropped due to insufficient evidence.

Five bodies of deceased women were discovered in uMthwalume over the past six months.

“It was brought to our attention that the suspect who was supposed to appear in court this morning passed away in police custody, thus he will no longer be appearing. The case against the second suspect was not enrolled due to insufficient evidence,” said the NAP’s KZN spokesperson Natasha Kara

Cele said that their case against the second suspect depended on the information from Khomo.

“The second guy was only linked from the information from the guy who is deceased. As so, the prosecution has told us that it is weak to enroll the case,” he said.

Cele said that investigations were ongoing.

“There is new information that suggests that there may be more people murdered. The suspect [Khomo] confessed yesterday [Sunday] that he believes there are more people that he has killed. There are also families coming forward with loved ones missing,” he said.

The Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) was also investigating Khomo’s death who was due to appear in the Umzumbe Magistrates Court on Monday.

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