South Africa

News24.com | Man arrested for allegedly strangling mom and baby at Limpopo lodge

Chantelle Ash and her baby, Tasneem.

Chantelle Ash and her baby, Tasneem.

A 29-year-old man from Bangladesh was arrested in Johannesburg on Thursday afternoon in connection with the murders of a mother and her baby from Mokopane in Limpopo.

According to police spokesperson Colonel Moatshe Ngoepe, the suspect, who was decribed as "close" to the victims, is expected to appear in the Mokerong Magistrate's Court on Friday.

According to Ngoepe, the suspect was allegedly involved in the murders of Chantelle Ash, 20, and her eight-month-old baby, Tasneem. Their bodies were found in the Maponya Lodge outside Mokopane, Limpopo, on 14 January. They had been strangled and their hands tied behind their backs.

According to a statement by Ngoepe, it is alleged that on 12 January at about 19:00, a man, a woman and a child were dropped off at the gate of the lodge by a grey, unknown motor vehicle. 

"Apparently, the trio rented a room for overnight accommodation without providing their personal information and promised the receptionist that they will check out the next day, on Wednesday, 13 January, at 09:00.

ash

The room at the lodge where the mother and baby were found murdered.

Bodies found by receptionist

"The following day, the receptionist was surprised to see no signs of the visitors and thought that they left the premises. On Thursday, 14 January, she decided to go and open the rented room with the aim of cleaning it. Upon arrival, the receptionist was shocked to discover [the] woman and the [baby] strangled to death with their hands tied from the back and their bodies in a state of decomposition. There was no presence of the male who came to the lodge with the two deceased," Ngoepe said. 

READ | KwaZulu-Natal man allegedly beats 19-year-old mother of his child to death

"The motive behind this incident is not clear at this stage but domestic violence may not be ruled out."

The gruesome murder has left Chantelle's family in Pretoria shattered, Pretoria Rekord reported. 

ash

Chantelle Ash and her baby, Tasneem.

"[On Sunday], baby Tasneem would have been nine months old. Now we cannot even celebrate that because she is no more, her life was cut too short. I keep on asking myself, why would anyone murder such a small baby, would they not have mercy for the child?" Chantelle's mother Annie told that publication.

According to Netwerk24, the bodies of Ash and her baby were brought from Mokopane to Pretoria on Wednesday, where they were buried according to the Muslim faith. Ash converted to Islam in October last year. 

- Compiled by Riaan Grobler

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