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Free State man charged with murder after girlfriend’s body found in dam

Members of the Welkom Search and Rescue Team retrieved the woman's body from a dam on Monday

Members of the Welkom Search and Rescue Team retrieved the woman’s body from a dam on Monday

Gallo Images/Sharon Seretlo

  • A man has been arrested in connection with his girlfriend’s murder.
  • The woman’s body was retrieved from a dam in the Free State.
  • Police said the woman was last seen at a tavern on 23 October.

A 30-year-old Free State man has been arrested in connection with the murder of his girlfriend who went missing 17 days ago.

The Welkom Search and Rescue Team retrieved the woman’s battered body from a dam on Monday. Police said the woman’s body was wrapped in a blanket, with stones inside the blanket and a wire wrapped around it.

According to police spokesperson Brigadier Motantsi Makhele, 31-year-old Thandi Paulina Dhlamini from Ntha township near Lindley was last seen on 23 October. However, her parents, friends or boyfriend never reported her missing.

Dhlamini was apparently last seen at a tavern in the Phola Park section of the informal settlement. 

“The parents thought she would come back as she usually disappeared and came back home,” Makhele said.

“This time it was strange because she didn’t come back home, and they never thought of reporting her to the police as a missing person.

READ | Deadly car crash exposes alleged plan to hide woman’s murder

“On 9 November 2021, community members were walking inside the municipality camp at the bank of the dam when they saw the body of a woman floating on the water. They immediately informed the police. The police divers and other relevant role players were summoned to the crime scene,” Makhele said.

She had sustained bruises to her body, he added.

Police are investigating a case of murder.

“Apparently, preliminary investigations conducted after the findings led the police to interrogate a certain person in Lindley. They managed to crack the case and made a breakthrough on their questioning of the suspect, which led Lindley police to QwaQwa, where they worked together with Tseki police to trace the suspect.”

The man was arrested near a bottle store in Monontsha Village. 

He is expected to appear in the Petrus Steyn Magistrate’s Court soon.


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