17-Year-Old Secondary School Student, Owami Visagie, was raped and murdered allegedly by her cousin in Gauteng, South Africa.

The Grade 11 learner was last seen going to extra classes on Sunday, March 24, 2024, and was later found dead at her cousin’s house in Refilwe in Cullinan, east of Pretoria.

Gauteng MEC of Education, Matome Chiloane, who confirmed the incident in a statement on Wednesday, March 27, said he was devastated to hear the news of the pupil. 

The MEC’s Spokesperson Steve Mabona says the victim was a learner at the Chipa-Tabane Secondary School in Refilwe.

He says according to information at their disposal, Visagie attended extra classes over the weekend, including Sunday.

Visagie left her house on Sunday morning and by 6 pm when she was still not home, her mother filed a missing person’s report.
Mabona says it was established that the victim was last seen with her cousin.

He says by Monday morning they went to the cousin’s house where Owami’s body was discovered.

The 30-year-old suspect handed himself over on Monday night and appeared in the Bronkhorstspruit Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday.

Visagie’s uncle, Peter Mthethwa expressed disbelief and rejection of the suspect, saying he cannot accept him as family or allow him into their house. 

“I cannot accept him as my family. I can’t let him in my house. I won’t. If the police release him I won’t go next to him. I don’t want to see him again,” he said. “It’s the first time we see this. It’s something we never expected. 

They were so close that even the girl’s mother used to leave him with her when she went anywhere and tell them to wash the dishes when done eating,” 

“All he said was, ‘I didn’t do it. He ran away because he was afraid that when the community caught him they were going to kill him, that’s what he said.” 

Meanwhile, police spokesperson, Lt. Col Mavela Masondo on Thursday, said the case has been at Cullinan police station. 

He confirmed that the suspect handed himself in to the police, adding that he made an appearance in court on Wednesday.