Mpumalanga teen arrested for raping and killing classmate commits suicide
A Mpumalanga matric pupil who had confessed to murdering his classmate has died in an apparent suicide.
His death comes just a day before he was set to return to court, the Independent Police Investigative Directorate said on Monday.
Seventeen-year-old Calvin Chiloane was found hanging in his police holding cell in Pienaar near Nelspruit on Saturday, said spokesperson Moses Dlamini.
"He used his school shirt to commit suicide," Dlamini said, adding that a post-mortem would be conducted.
"He was set to appear in court on Monday for a social worker's report and bail application. He was detained alone in a juvenile cell after his first court appearance on Friday April 12," said Dlamini.
Chiloane was arrested last week after it was learnt that he had been in the company of his classmate, 16-year-old Nomthandazo Mbatha, prior to her death.
The pair had attended a study session together.
"The following day, her parents searched for her in the area with no success. They learnt that she was last seen with the suspect after the study session that day," Brig Leonard Hlathi said at the time.
"Police immediately confronted the suspect and inquired about the whereabouts of the victim. He initially claimed that she had driven off with an unknown man, whom he thought was her uncle.
"As the interrogation intensified, he changed his tune and said the victim had died as a result of strangulation and he had buried her out of fear that he would be arrested," Hlathi added.
The shallow grave in which he buried Mbatha was dug up.
A post-mortem revealed that the 16-year-old girl may have been raped before she was killed.