Minister Bheki Cele Assures Public That Police Are Making Headway in Ditebego Phalane Murder Case

Minister Bheki Cele Assures Public That Police Are Making Headway in Ditebego Phalane Murder Case

  • Police Minister Bheki Cele has assured South Africans that there is progress in the murder case of Ditebego Phalane Junior
  • The five-year-old was laid to rest on Friday in Soshanguve after he was shot during a botched hijacking last week
  • Two suspects have since been arrested after unlicensed firearms and the keys to a Toyota Hilux that had been taken during the hijacking were found

Trisha Pillay is a Briefly News current affairs journalist in Johannesburg. Beginning her 13-year-long career at eNCA, she honed her reporting skills and coverage of crime and court cases, which she further developed at The Citizen newspaper, African News Network and Newzroom Afrika. Do you have a hard news story you would like to share? Email: with CA in the subject line.

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Police making headway in murder case investigation.
Police confirmed that they are making progress in the murder case of little Ditebego Phalane Junior. Images: EFF Gauteng
Source: Twitter

SOSHANGUVE - Police Minister Bheki Cele has expressed confidence in the ongoing investigation into the tragic death of five-year-old Ditebogo Phalane Junior.

Bheki Cele reassures the public

The little boy was killed during a botched hijacking outside his family's home in Soshanguve, Pretoria, last week. According to eNCA, speaking at the child's funeral on Friday, Cele assured the community that the police are on the right track with the case.

Minister Cele and National Commissioner Fannie Masemola were among the dignitaries at the funeral service, which saw a large turnout of mourners. Political leaders such as the EFF's Mbuyiseni Ndlozi and the DA's Solly Msimanga, as well as public figures including DJ and TV personality Lamiez Holworthy and her husband, rapper Khuli Chana, attended to pay their respects.

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2 Suspects arrested

Police efforts led to the arrest of two suspects on Wednesday. During the arrest, officers recovered two unlicensed firearms and the keys to a Toyota Hilux that had been taken during the hijacking. The suspects appeared in the Soshanguve Magistrate's Court on Thursday following an intense manhunt.

What you need to know about Ditebogo Phalane Junior's murder case

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Mzansi in mourning

The young boy's funeral was filled with emotional tributes. The family has urged the community to cooperate with the police in the fight against crime.

South Africans are distraught following the toddler's brutal death.

Here are some of the reactions:

@Cyamthanda_ expressed:

"Imagine giving birth, then five days later, you lose one of your kids."

@cpillay19 said:

"When we lose children, we lose our existence."

@TheRealGobetse shared:

"People must normalise saying no to these sponsored funerals; look at these people now turning a funeral of a child into a street bash."

@MahlakoT44042 commented:

"If SA was a safe place, this little boy would be playing with his friends at school."

@Samurl ZA expressed:

"While this is a public stunt for politicians and musicians, this family is mourning; take a break."

@Zaram shared:

"Soar high with the angels, little man; these parents are broken."

Soshanguve hijack victim Ditebogo Phalane buried

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In a related story, Briefly News reported that Ditebogo Phalane was buried on Friday in Soshanguve, Pretoria, after his brutal murder a few weeks back.

Hijackers shot and killed him in cold blood as they were hijacking his father, and he ran out to greet him.

Netizens were torn by the little boy's brutal murder, with many hurt that he had fallen victim to South Africa.

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Source: Briefly News

Trisha Pillay avatar

Trisha Pillay (Weekend current affairs editor) Trisha Pillay is a Current Affairs writer at Briefly News. She has a degree in Journalism from the University of Johannesburg and an Honours degree in International Politics from UNISA. She joined ENCA straight out of varsity and completed an internship at the channel. Pillay later went on to cover politics, crime, entertainment, and current affairs at the Citizen Newspaper. She joined Newzroom Afrika in 2019 and became a senior bulletin editor for shows focused on politics and current affairs on the channel. She joined Briefly News in 2023. You can contact her at

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