Bones were found in a field in Modimolle on Friday after 200 police officers searched for the bodies of children who have been missing from the area since 2004, Limpopo police said.
"We are not sure if the bones belong to one of the missing children, or if they are human. Police are still waiting for forensic evidence," said spokesperson Superintendent Motlafela Mojapelo.
The bones were found scattered in a field on a mountain in Modimolle.
Mojapelo said that out of 11 children who went missing, seven bodies have been found since their abductions in 2004. "Forensic evidence points to one person, so we think that there is a serial killer at large," he said.
One of the victims was a boy and the rest were girls. "Their ages range from four to eight years old. The children that were found were raped and strangled."
He said the children went missing when they were sent to shops or while playing with other children. They lived in informal settlements in Modimolle.
The seven bodies were recovered in surrounding mountains and in fields near a train track over the past few years. "The killer does not dig graves, but dumps the bodies in between rocks, or in the bushes. Some of the remains were skeletal."
Police distributed pamphlets and searched vacant areas throughout the day, Mojapelo said.
The search, which was conducted by a provincial task team, was called off and will continue at a later stage.
There is a reward of R250 000 for any person who assists police in finding the bodies. — Sapa