A fifth man suspected of the rape and murder of two toddlers in Diepsloot has been arrested and is due to appear in court on Monday.
A 29-year-old accused of the murder of two children in Diepsloot was expected to appear in the Pretoria Magistrate's Court on Monday.
He was arrested in Alexandra, north of Johannesburg, on Friday for the murder of two-year-old Yonelisa Mali and her three-year-old cousin, Zandile Mali.
The man was on the run since the discovery of the toddlers in a toilet cubicle last week Tuesday.
He would face two charges of murder, rape and kidnapping.
Four other men appeared in the Pretoria Magistrate's Court on Friday on charges of rape and murder. The case was postponed to Thursday for the men to apply for representation from Legal Aid.
Last week, police offered a R100 000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the man.
Police released an identikit of him on Thursday, putting him between the ages of 30 to 34, of slight build, about 1.7m tall, light in complexion and with a cut on his lower lip.
The bodies of the two children were found in a public toilet cubicle in Diepsloot at 5am on Tuesday by a resident.
They were reported missing at the weekend, and residents went on the rampage after the bodies were discovered.
Police said a team of detectives had been appointed to investigate the murders.
When the children's bodies were found last week, hundreds of women marched on the makeshift Diepsloot police station, babies and children strapped to their backs.
Their intent was twofold – mainly to express their grief, fear and frustration over the fact that the police did not find two raped and murdered children before it was too late, but also to send a strong message to the killers that their days in Diepsloot are numbered – and that the police will find them.
On October 12, a group of men from the community north of Johannesburg began a manhunt for the two cousins.
Three days later the children were found. They had been raped, murdered and dumped in a toilet.
Acting Gauteng provincial commissioner Lieutenant General Lesetja Mothiba announced that the first four men had been taken in for questioning after they reported at the Diepsloot police station that their shacks had been ransacked during the protest.
It was during that protest on October 15 that community members said they believed a foreigner was to blame. It emerged this was because a passport was allegedly found at the scene of the crime.
Thumeka Fumezele, a mother of two, said the group of community members who searched for the children could have found them sooner if they had had more manpower to search all the homes.
"The police were there, searching, but not like this," she said, pointing at the 20-odd police vehicles.
By nightfall, she predicted the police would retreat to the lighted main roads, leaving those in Diepsloot's side streets to fend for themselves.
"And then you will see," she said.
No police station
Diepsloot has not had a police station since the government's first attempts to formalise the township in 1994.
In 2010, the department of public works announced that a station would be built, but the contractor went bankrupt and the tender had to be reissued.
The department announced this week that the station would be completed by August 2014. For now, police "squat" in the local metro police building nearby.
This week, "foreigner" was a word readily used by protesters.
Those who are labelled as such are alive to the weight of the word. One by one, foreign-owned shops in Extension 1 – where the two children lived and were killed – closed their doors this week amid fears that the nationality of the killers may prompt a wave of attacks.
In the 2012/13 financial year, according to the latest police crime statistics, 49 550 crimes were committed against children around the country.
A 2012 Victims of Crime Survey conducted by Statistics South Africa found that, in 2011, 23.2% of households would not let their children move around in their neighbourhood without an adult. It also found that 15.7% of households did not allow their children to walk home from school alone.
The same study said 65.6% of households in Gauteng took physical steps to protect their homes.
But, in Diepsloot, 17 000 people live in informal dwellings and only 6 000 have formal housing, according to a 2005 study by Urban LandMark, which makes securing the safety of children more difficult.
Since the study, many parts of Diepsloot have been earmarked for housing, including Extension 1.
In February, the Gauteng provincial government announced a R1.6-billion development project, which will include a small businesses hub.
Still, an estimated 70% of Diepsloot is unemployed. Women in the area told the Mail & Guardian last week that they did not have the option of leaving their children behind safely locked doors. The mkhukhu – tin shacks – barely have gates, let alone alarm systems.
Fumezele works as a domestic worker in the city and her 18-year-old is responsible for looking after her five-year-old son while she is away. But the murder of the cousins has shaken her sense of security and she is at a loss about what to do to ensure the safety of them both.
"What is happening to our children, here? They are not safe anywhere. It's fucked up," another woman said. – Additional reporting by Sarah Evans