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S. AFRICA IDENTIFIES SUSPECT IN SERIAL KILLINGS

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South African police identified Thursday a man they suspect is one of two serial killers involved in the deaths of about 40 black women in a wave of murders that has terrorized the nation.

In a major breakthrough, police released a photo of Moses Sithole, 31, who they said used six aliases, and said they were searching for him but had been unable to find him.They appealed to the public to turn him over to the authorities and not to inflict mob justice if they find the man suspected of raping and strangling dozens of young women and dumping their half-naked bodies near train stations, in open fields or in mine dumps.

"Police investigating the Gauteng serial killings are searching for a 31-year-old suspect. The man, Moses Sithole, has so far managed to evade the police," said Reg Crewe, spokesman for the National Crime Investigation Service.

Sithole was the second man to be named as a suspect in the killings. A previous suspect was shot to death last year by police, but officials said two men had probably killed in tandem.

Crewe said the suspect in the murders, which began 18 months ago in the Johannesburg and Pretoria areas, was 5 feet 8 inches tall, was well-built and neatly dressed.

National Police Commissioner George Fivaz at a news conference urged the public to remain calm and not to resort to mob justice.

"Although I absolutely understand the anger of the community, I must make the strongest possible appeal to the community to stay calm and not to take the law into their own hands should they be in a position to apprehend the suspect.

"South Africa, especially the women of South Africa, must not be denied the opportunity of having the mystery of the Gauteng serial killings solved."

The bodies of two more women were found this week in Johannesburg suburbs, one in Germiston and the other at Cleveland, close to mine dumps where the bodies of 11 black women were found strangled last year.

Crewe said police were investigating the possibility that the two women were also victims of the serial killer.

Police arrested David Selepe last year as a prime suspect in the Cleveland killings, but he was shot to death when he allegedly attacked a policeman while visiting the murder scenes.

Fivaz said police believed Selepe had worked with a partner.