In Bloemfontein, a cloud of fear hovers as the city grapples with a string of unsettling disappearances and violent crimes against women, igniting concerns about a possible serial killer on the loose.
More missing women sparks fear of a serial killer in Bloemfontein
The latest in this alarming series is the disappearance of Refilwe Pitleli, last seen on 12 December 2023, near Glass Palace after fetching her Grade 8 report.
Like Refilwe, Sibongile Portia Ngwana vanished without a trace on 26 November 2023 in Bochabela. Her whereabouts remain a mystery, her family left in anguish.
These disappearances are not isolated incidents. The recent murder of Jessie Michael, a dedicated social worker found near Kalkfontein Dam, adds to the disturbing pattern.
Her demise came just days after 16-year-old Machaka Radebe was found murdered under similar gruesome circumstances. Both cases not only shook the community but also raised alarm about the safety of women in the Free State capital.
Jessie Michael was last seen on 5 December 2023, working on a Gender-Based Violence case. Her body was discovered six days later, sparking widespread horror.
Machaka Radebe’s case is equally chilling. She went missing on 2 December, and her lifeless body was found two days later, marked with stab wounds. The discovery followed a ransom call from an unknown male, using her phone.
The unsettling pattern doesn’t end there. Lesego Mamello Motaung disappeared on her way to work in Uitsig on 30 October 2023. In another bizarre instance, Lerato Masiu was last seen being taken from her home by men posing as police officers on 16 November 2023. These ongoing cases contribute to the mounting concern about a possible predator targeting women in the area.
Despite the grim series of events, police have not yet indicated any direct connection between these cases. However, the similarities in these disappearances and murders are too striking to ignore. The community is left in a state of anxiety and speculation, with more questions than answers.