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Rachel Saunders: Second missing botanist's body identified

Rodney Saunders and his wife Rachel

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Nick Bailey

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Rodney Saunders’s frame was once discovered via fishermen in February

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South African police have known the frame of a British botanist abducted along with her husband in a case with suspected hyperlinks to the Islamic State team (IS).

Rachel Saunders, 63, and her husband Rodney Saunders, 74, had been closing noticed alive on 10 February.

Police discovered Rodney’s frame on 17 February in a river.

Government known Rachel’s frame on Wednesday however they didn’t say the place they’d discovered her stays.

Capt Lloyd Ramovha, of the elite Hawks investigative unit, stated in a commentary: “A multi-pronged investigation via the Directorate for Precedence Crime Investigation and the South African Police Carrier’s Forensic Science Laboratory… resulted in the sure identity of the mortal stays of Rachel Saunders.”

What do we all know took place?

The pair, who owned a seed trade in Cape The city, had been on a travel in search of uncommon seeds in KwaZulu-Natal province once they had been taken.

After the couple’s disappearance, their automotive was once discovered with blood marks and 734,000 rand (£42,000) was once reportedly tired from their financial institution accounts.

The BBC has declined to touch upon studies that, in a while sooner than they had been abducted, the couple were operating with a movie team from the tv programme Gardeners’ Global.

The frame of Mr Saunders was once discovered via fishermen within the Tugela river and known a number of weeks later.

Their disappearance led the British Overseas Place of job to replace its caution about the specter of a terrorist assault within the nation, which disillusioned many South Africans.

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How did the investigation spread?

Suspects Fatima Patel, 27, and Saffydeen Aslam del Vecchio, 38, had been arrested on 16 February, at some point sooner than Rodney’s frame was once discovered. Ahead of the arrests, they had been each beneath police surveillance and are imagined to have hoisted an IS flag within the reserve the place the couple disappeared.

Ms Patel had up to now been arrested, along with her brother, in 2016 right through a separate anti-terrorism raid nearer to Johannesburg. Neither of them had been charged.

Themba Xulu, 19, was once later arrested after the ‘ cellphones had been present in his ownership, with a fourth suspect named as Ahmad Mussa, 36, from Malawi.

Xulu gained a suspended three-year sentence after putting a plea discount with prosecutors, with the remainder nonetheless in custody and due in court docket on 24 August on homicide, kidnapping and theft fees.

Does IS have a presence in South Africa?

There were no recognized assaults via IS, or every other jihadist team, in South Africa.

Essentially the most distinguished case ever connected to IS within the nation concerned the Thulsie twins – Brandon-Lee and Tony-Lee.

They had been arrested right through raids in 2016 that still noticed Fatima Patel detained – despite the fact that she was once now not charged on the time.

The twins are anticipated to stand trial on terrorism fees associated with alleged plans to assault the USA embassy in South Africa and Jewish objectives.

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