A 35-year-old Mpumalanga man was scheduled to appear in absentia before the Standerton Magistrate’s Court on allegations of torching his 23-year-old girlfriend to death.
The woman died in a fire in a shack that the pair was in on Monday at the Sakhile township near Standerton, Mpumalanga police spokesman Brigadier Leonard Hlathi said in a statement.
“According to information, the suspect was last seen in a shack with his girlfriend. However his family members were shocked to realise that the very same shack the two were in, was burning,” he said.
“While they were still pondering about what happened, news broke that the suspect escaped the fire with some burn wounds, surprisingly leaving behind his girlfriend.”
He said emergency services and police were summoned to the scene where the woman was certified dead.
“Police suspected foul play (in) the incident as the man is believed to have started the fire, hence he was arrested and (is) currently under police guard at the hospital,” Hlathi added.
Acting provincial police commissioner Major General Thulani Phahla condemned the incident and appealed to community members to seek professional help when facing relationship challenges.
“Gender-based-violence in our society can be overcome if all opinion leaders and community formations can work together,” said Phahla.
Earlier this year, police in Mpumalanga welcomed the life imprisonment term handed down to a man convicted of killing his former girlfriend and mother of his four children.
Lucky Mhlanga was sentenced in the Mpumalanga division of the high court sitting in Breyten in February for the murder of the 28-year-old woman.
African News Agency (ANA)