There were angry scenes in central Johannesburg on Sunday night after police discovered the decomposing and bound up bodies of six sex workers inside a panel beater’s shop.
A 21-year-old man, believed to be the son of the business owner, was arrested and is in police custody.
The man was recently released from prison where he was serving time for rape.
The bizarre set of events unfolded after a security guard noticed a strange smell coming from the premises. Moving inside with a flashlight he found the body of one of the women.
The woman was seen entering the building last week Sunday with the suspect.
Footage in possession of the police also shows the young man entering the building using his father’s bakkie.
The guard then alerted the police who noticed that the smell remained even after the body was removed. Further investigation revealed the other five bodies. They were tied up with rope and decomposing.
Given the decomposing state of the bodies it was impossible to immediately identify how they had been killed.
The area around the M2 double decker highway of the Joburg CBD is known and frequented by sex workers.
After the discovery, police arrested the man at his residence.
As investigations continued into the night a crowd of sex workers gathered, devastated by news of the find. They demanded to know what had happened to their co-workers.
The brother of one of the victims, Tinashe Wilson Murimba, who is from Zimbabwe, told Scrolla.Africa that they have been sick with worry about their missing sister who he identified as Jeanette Nyarai Chiota.
A woman who said she worked with one of the victims told Scrolla.Africa.Africa that she last saw her colleague on Sunday, the same day that it is suspected that the woman was killed.
She said her colleague was wearing a yellow short dress with a weave on her head. “Soon after the loadshedding hit our area, I immediately left because it was dark. I left my friend there and I never heard from her again.
“On Tuesday, I received a call from her family checking if I had heard from her.”
At the time of going to press the police had not yet commented