Burnt in her car after years of abuse
A close friend of a 28-year-old woman who was allegedly burnt to death in her vehicle by her boyfriend has described the couple's relationship as volatile.
Lebo Bokaba, who was one of the last people to see Kgaugelo Tshawane alive last weekend, told SowetanLive that the couple had been together for years and claimed that Tebogo Setlhare, 37, had allegedly broken the mother of two's arm during an argument in 2015.
"He was very violent towards her and didn't want her to speak to other men. He once broke her arm in 2015 after she found him with another woman. He once beat her to a pulp while she was heavily pregnant with their now three-year-old child as well," Bokaba said.
Bokaba said she last saw Tshawane alive after they went on a holiday with a group of friends last weekend.
Tshawane's charred body and car, a Mini Cooper, were found in Mmakau. Setlhare has been arrested and charged with kidnapping, robbery, murder, defeating the ends of justice and possession of suspected stolen property.
"We didn't have network [service] at the lodge where we were staying in Brits and we didn't pay attention to phones because of that," Bokaba said.
"On Saturday night Kgau realised she had 14 missed calls from the guy's number but said she would not call him back because she was on holiday, but she eventually caved in and called him back."
Bokaba said Tshawane and Setlhare got into an argument, which prompted her to leave them at the lodge in the middle of the night.
She said she grew concerned when Tshawane's mother called her on Sunday evening to ask when the group would return from their trip.
"I told her that Kgau had left us on Saturday night. Our concern grew on Monday morning when her mother called me again to tell me that Kgau had not returned," she said.
Bokaba contacted Tshawane's colleagues, who said she had not arrived at work on Monday and that her phone was switched off.
"Her mother went to the GaRankuwa (police station) to report her missing but she was shocked when she was told by the police that Kgau's car was found in Mmakau and it was burnt," she said.
Her mother went to North West and identified her body.
Tshawane's mother, Naomi Tshawane, yesterday said she was too distraught to speak.
Setlhare appeared in the Brits magistrate's court on November 27 and is expected to apply for bail on December 11.
Police said he was found in possession of Tshawane's bank card, from which he had allegedly withdrawn R1,000.
North West provincial police commissioner Lt-Gen Baile Motswenyane said police would act against anyone who committed gender violence.