Police in South Africa have arrested a 22-year-old man in connection with the murder of 14-year-old Simphiwe Sibeko.

The man was arrested on Tuesday after an intelligence-driven operation, according to police spokesperson Capt Kay Makhubele.

He said a search for a second person suspected of being involved in the crime was under way.

Sibeko was reported missing last Thursday after she failed to return home from a local spaza shop.

The teen’s partially decomposed body was later found buried in a shallow grave near a river stream, several kilometres away from her home. She had been raped.

Sibeko’s aunt, Bongekile Phakathi, told media that the 22-year-old suspect was not known to the family, and expressed relief at the arrest.

“We can’t say we’re happy, but the news about the arrest comes as a relief to the family. We hope justice will be served,” she told TimesLIVE.

Phakathi confirmed Sibeko would be laid to rest on Thursday.

 

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