A 30-year-old man has been arrested four months after the body of his girlfriend, Mahlako Malebo Rabalao, was found burnt beyond recognition inside her burning car in Midrand, Gauteng, South Africa.
The suspect is expected to appear in the Randburg Magistrate’s Court on Monday, July 31, 2023.
26-year-old Rabalao, a mother of a toddler, who worked as an IT specialist in Centurion, was reported missing on March 7, 2023. She was found deceased inside her Mercedes Benz that was engulfed in flames at 9pm that evening.
Lieutenant Colonel Mavela Masondo, who confirmed the development in a statement on Monday, July 31, said Rabalao’s boyfriend was arrested at the weekend following a thorough investigation.
He said the boyfriend is facing a charge of murder.
“The suspect (boyfriend), aged 30, was arrested in KwaZulu-Natal on Friday, July 28, after a warrant of arrest was issued against him,” Lieutenant Masondo said.
On March 7, at around 9pm, police received a call about a burning vehicle in Midrand.
On their arrival, police found a Mercedes Benz that was on fire. After the fire was extinguished, human remains were found on the front seat of the car.
“Police immediately conducted an investigation, and the deceased was identified. As police always prioritise cases of gender-based violence, the docket was transferred to the provincial investigation unit and assigned to a seasoned investigating officer who continued with the investigation,” said Masondo.
During the investigation, it was revealed that Rabalao was murdered, and her body was burnt inside the vehicle. The prime suspect behind the heinous crime was her boyfriend.
A warrant of arrest was issued by the Randburg Magistrate’s Court.
Masondo said the suspect was traced and arrested in KwaZulu-Natal on Friday.
Meanwhile, Gauteng provincial commissioner of police, Lieutenant General Elias Mawela has welcomed the arrest and applauded the investigation team.
“As the police, we will continue to prioritise cases where women and children are the victims. I am grateful with the manner in which the detectives handled this investigation and that the suspect is brought to book for the family to find closure,” said Mawela.