Man suspected of petrol bombing house, killing 3, had domestic violence history
The Commission for Gender Equality (CGE) wants answers from police about how a man with previous domestic violence-related orders against him could petrol bomb a house in Limpopo, leaving three people dead.
"According to the victim, the alleged perpetrator was released from [police] custody, despite previous domestic violence orders being obtained by the victim," the CGE said in a statement on Thursday.
Police spokesperson Colonel Moatshe Ngoepe said a task team was investigating this claim to establish if it was true.
"That is forming part of our internal investigations. We can't comment at this stage," he said
"The task team on the internal probe is still very much busy. Let's allow them their space."
Last Friday, two girls and their grandfather died after a petrol bomb was thrown into their house in Sekgakgapeng village near Mokopane.
Five-year-old Kamogelo Kekana died on the scene and her little sister Sadie, 2, died on the way to hospital.
Their grandfather Hendrick Kekana, 64, died while he was being admitted to hospital for serious burn wounds.
Suspect found hiding in tavern
Ngoepe said a massive search for the suspect was launched. Police and the K9 unit found the 45-year-old man hiding in a tavern in Mogoto village outside Zebediela on Tuesday night at around 21:00.
Bongani Abraham Boshomane, also from Sekgakgapeng area, appeared in the Mahwelereng Magistrate's Court on three counts of murder, attempted murder and arson on Wednesday.
He was denied bail and his case was postponed to October 17 for further investigation.
However, the CGE said that, although it was pleased with the action being taken by some of the Limpopo government's departments to help the family recover from the attack, the case had highlighted how difficult it was for victims to find alternate accommodation and psycho-social support.
The commission had heard that it was difficult to get help, and that counselling was done by family members instead of trained professionals in some cases.
The commission had also been told that some police officers did not seem to take some people as seriously as they should when they reported their fears of an attack, and that this discouraged people from seeking help from the police.
The CGE was invoking its powers to conduct its own investigations into gender-based violence that are reported to it.
"The CGE will continue to monitor and work closely with the relevant authorities in ensuring that justice prevails," the commission said.