Manhunt on for Diepsloot toddler killer

A schoolboy walks past remnants from a march in protest of the slain toddlers in Diepsloot. (Oupa Nkosi)

A schoolboy walks past remnants from a march in protest of the slain toddlers in Diepsloot. (Oupa Nkosi)

Police are searching for a man believed to be behind the killing of children in Diepsloot.

"The police are searching for a known suspect, believed to be the perpetrator of the crime," Gauteng acting provincial commissioner Lieutenant-General Lesetja Mothiba told reporters in Johannesburg.

He said the police would soon release an identity kit of the man.

Mothiba said the police were also investigating a link between Tuesday's killings and the murder of a five-year-old girl in the same area in September.

The bodies of Yonelisa Mali (2) and her cousin Zandile Mali (3) were found in a public toilet cubicle in Diepsloot at 5am on Tuesday by a resident.

They were reported missing at the weekend. Residents marched in their hundreds after the bodies were discovered.

Police suspected she had been sexually violated and strangled.

Police said a team of detectives had been appointed to investigate the murders. Four people had been taken in for questioning. A fifth person was being sought.

Meanwhile, the Economic Freedom Fighters described the murders of two Diepsloot children as horrible.

"We call on the police to leave no stone unturned, as we view this matter as serious," EFF spokesperson Patrick Sindane said on Wednesday.

Sindane called on Diepsloot residents to be vigilant and to develop strategies to deal with crime.

Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa also condemned the murders.

"I have tasked the police management to hunt whoever committed this gruesome act," he said on Wednesday.

Mthethwa appealed to residents to work with the police to fight crime.

"The disturbing scenes which we witnessed cannot be condoned. We condemn any form of mob justice," said Mthethwa.

Mthethwa said the police were stepping up the war against the perpetrators of crimes against children.

Children Minister Lulu Xingwana said the Diepsloot murders were senseless and inexcusable.

"As a society, parents, mothers and fathers we should be deeply concerned about these heinous crimes against children, that are happening around us, in our communities." – Sapa



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