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A week of sleepless nights as family of 'abducted' Limpopo woman desperate for a lead

The family of a 31-year-old woman who was allegedly shoved into the boot of a car at Kgaphamadi village, outside Groblersdal in Limpopo a week ago, said they need all the help they can to get her back home safely.

Refiloe Malope was allegedly seen by neighbours being forced into a white Toyota sedan on May 9 at about 10am. The car sped off in the direction of Motsephiri, according to witnesses.

David Malope, her brother, said he was called on Monday by his other sister, Tshepiso, telling him that Refiloe had been attacked by people who had initially come and asked for help with their car.

“She was sitting in her van where she lives and the people asked to be jump-started. She said to them that she was also stuck and could not help them. When they left the house they met my sister, Tshepiso, coming into the yard,” said David.

“Tshepiso asked Refiloe if she knew them. She said they were related to her girlfriend and she then left and went to the shop. Neighbours said on her way back from the shop,  the people took her,” said David. 

He said eyewitnesses claimed to have seen two men who forced her into the boot while other men were inside the car.

Refiloe was living with her girlfriend and both Refiloe’s family and her girlfriend believe that it was “people connected to the girlfriend” who were behind the crime.

David alleged the couple had received threats from some of Refiloe’s close family members, and had been told a week earlier that “someone will die”.

He said there were some family differences, hence the suspicions.

“We don’t sleep. When the phone rings, we hope that they will tell us that she has been found. When a message comes in, I am always hoping that it’s about her. We need all the help we can get to get her home safe — any help,” he said.

Refiloe was wearing a blue gown with stripes, a grey shirt and blue pyjama pants with stripes.

Provincial police commissioner Lt-Gen Thembi Hadebe has set up a team of investigators to trace the suspects. 

The police’s version of events differed slightly from the family’s. 

“The information at our disposal is that the victim was allegedly approached by one of the suspects under the pretext that he was looking for assistance as his vehicle [had broken down] in the village, and when the two arrived at the car the second suspect suddenly emerged and the two forcibly put the lady into the boot of the car,” said police spokesperson Brig Motlafela Mojapelo.

“The motive is unknown at this stage and we appeal to anyone with information to contact Det-Sgt Amos Thekupi on 082-775-5462 or toll-free 08600-10111, or use the MySAPS app. Callers may opt to remain anonymous and any information received will be regarded as confidential,” said Mojapelo.

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