They were arrested yesterday morning after police found Simelane’s damaged statue in the back of their bakkie shortly after it was reported stolen from the Bethal Cultural Precinct in Mpumalanga.
The statue was erected and unveiled in 2009 to honour Simelane, who was abducted at the Carlton Centre, Johannesburg, in 1983.
She was allegedly killed by apartheid security forces after she entered South Africa from Swaziland.
Simelane had just completed her studies at the University of Swaziland and was back in South Africa to buy shoes for her graduation ceremony when she was captured. She was allegedly tortured to death by Vlakplaas operatives and her remains have not been found.
Captain Leonard Hlathi confirmed the arrest of two men but declined to confirm their race. He said they were arrested at about 2am after police received information that unknown people were tampering with the statue.