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Police catch suspects in tragic shooting of five-year-old in Soshanguve

Five-year-old Ditebogo Junior Phalane

Gauteng Police have arrested two people in connection with the heartbreaking murder of five-year-old Ditebogo Junior Phalane. The little boy tragically died in a brutal carjacking outside his home in Soshanguve in Tshwane last week, an event that shocked the public consciousness and sparked widespread condemnation.

Gauteng Provincial Commissioner Lieutenant General Tommy Mthombeni announced the arrests in an announcement today, marking a crucial step forward in the pursuit of justice for Ditebogo and his surviving family. According to authorities, Ditebogo was caught in the crossfire when his father was targeted by armed kidnappers. He dreamed of a joyful reunion and ran outside to greet his father when he returned home, only to meet a tragic end. Despite the quick response and efforts to save him, Ditebogo was pronounced dead at Botshilong Hospital.

A rapid manhunt ensued following the tragedy, with law enforcement reaching out to the community for information. Mthombeni revealed that their determined pursuit led to the arrest of the suspects in separate operations in Soshanguve. Both were found armed with unlicensed firearms, raising suspicions that they were involved in other criminal activities. “At one location, we found a suspect not far from the crime scene and arrested the second suspect (also) in possession of an unlicensed firearm,” Mthombeni explained, citing the connection of a particular firearm to another car theft incident in 2023 in Akasia.

In their relentless search for justice, officers have also targeted a third location in hopes of arresting another suspect. While the individual remains at large, police in Mabopane have recovered a vehicle suspected to have been used in the commission of the heinous act against Ditebogo.

The recovered firearm believed to have been used in the tragedy adds a crucial piece to the puzzle as investigators work to unravel the circumstances surrounding the boy’s untimely death. Underlining the complexity of the case, it was announced that one of the suspects is a South African citizen, while the others are believed to be foreign nationals.

As a sign of solidarity and commitment to tackling the causes of such violent crimes, Police Minister Bheki Cele met with the Phalane family and then held a crime prevention imbizo in Jukulyn, Soshanguve. His promise to combat and curb rampant crime in the region, especially murders, is a ray of hope for the beleaguered community.

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Police catch suspects in tragic shooting of five-year-old 3 in Soshanguve

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