Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

David Selepe

Saving Face

Detectives tracked down the two men Selepe had mentioned. One, called Tito, immediately provided hair and blood samples. He was also extensively questioned, but authorities found no connection to the murders. The other man, Mandla, was in prison, where he had been awaiting trial while the murders occurred. He was also questioned and dismissed as an accomplice.

On December 23, police revealed that David Selepe could be tied to at least six of the Cleveland victims. Human blood was found in Selepe's car, supposedly from one of the victims, but no further details were furnished. Blood believed to be from Selepe was found on one of the victims' panties. Additional evidence linked Selepe to four more victims, but police did not want to divulge details. It seemed like a rather feeble attempt to save some face.

Amid the turmoil, Selepe's widow, Linda, stated on the television news that she might sue the police for her husband's death. Her motive for suing, however, appeared somewhat suspect. In an interview with Beeld, published on December 20, Linda's mother, Grace Nkosi, said that "David lived in a house in Boksburg. My daughter came to live with me [in KwaThema] to finish school. I haven't seen him in a long time and I know nothing about him."

It seems then that, not only had Linda and David Selepe not lived in the same house for more than a year, but they had not had much contact between them. When the inquest into David Selepe's death began six months later, Linda did not attend. More than a year after that, just before the trial of Moses Sithole began, she was still threatening to sue the government. Whether she actually ever followed through on her threat is unknown.

Moses Sithole
Moses Sithole

Despite a number of journalists', newspaper editors' and conspiracy theorists' misgivings about the conduct of the police officers in Selepe's shooting, most people probably thought his death signaled the end of this dark chapter in Johannesburg's history. Alas, it was only the prelude. During the ensuing months, things would become much blacker.

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