The student community has been alive with the speculation of a supposed serial killer in the Grahamstown community. This “serial killer” is said, by users on twitter, to hack woman to death, and remove their hearts. However, after consulting with the South African Police Service (SAPS), Activate is able to shed some light.
According to Lt Luvuyo Mjekula, the body of a 20-something woman was found in the bushes near Extension 7 this past Sunday, 13 September 2015. The deceased had several stab wounds, including the back of the neck and in the face, Mjekula said through email correspondence. The Joza police have opened a murder docket, and are also investigating the possibility of sexual assault, and the post-mortem report will indicate this. Currently no arrests have been made.
The investigation also included determining whether the murder can be linked to another murder investigation with the appearance of a similar modus operandi. This is after the body of another woman was found the previous weekend with stab wounds in the Joza area, on 6 September 2015.
However, after thorough investigation, the SAPS have declared it is not possible to link these two murders, as all angles and possibilities have been examined, and there is no linkage in motive behind the murders
Police are asking members of the community, including the students at Rhodes University, to be alert and vigilant in the future and to report any suspicious people or behaviour to the SAPS or nearest law enforcement institution, being CPU for Rhodents.
Some safety tips from Mjekula are:
- Avoid walking alone at night; avoid talking to strangers in isolated places especially if it is dark
- Do not carry large sums of money and keep your cell phone hidden if possible
- At home lock all doors and windows when going to sleep
- Ask a neighbour to keep an eye on your property when leaving
- Keep track of your surroundings – use landmarks.
Catherine Deiner, Rhodes University Communication Department, stated students should adopt the general safety tips offered by the SAPS. Deiner advised these safety tips are not related to the murders, but can prevent students from falling victim to any crimes. These tips have been adapted by Deiner to address students:
- Students should not walk alone especially late at night and in the early hours of the morning (especially while it is dark). Walk in groups with people you trust
- Students shouldn’t accept liquor from anyone they do not know and should not leave their drinks unattended
- Students should always be aware of their surroundings
- Students should monitor how much alcohol they drink so that they remain in control and do not place themselves in vulnerable situations
Anyone with information about these murders is encouraged to call Captain Riaan Havenga on 082 416 8279. Confidential information can also be anonymously shared through SAPS Crime Stop on 08600 10 111.
Activate encourages students to use the safety tips provided, and stay safe during this term.