Res­i­dents find rot­ting re­mains

Skele­ton taken for DNA test­ing

The Star Early Edition - - NEWS - MASABATA MKWANANZI masabata.mkwananzi@inl.co.za @Sa­bie_M

ASKULL, a bot­tle of glue in one of the pock­ets, patches of hair, a pair of trousers and a blue jacket.

These were all that was left of a rot­ting corpse which didn’t even have skin on it when Se­bo­keng res­i­dents stum­bled upon it be­tween two large trees in the veld while mea­sur­ing stands for oc­cu­pa­tion two weeks ago.

The re­mains are yet to be iden­ti­fied but it is be­lieved that they had been ly­ing there for months.

Hor­ri­fied at the sight, the res­i­dents sprung into ac­tion and ran to the house of a po­lice of­fi­cer who lives nearby.

Once alerted, the cop no­ti­fied his col­leagues, who quickly ar­rived at the scene.

Bon­gani Moni, one of the res­i­dents who was part of the group that­dis­cov­ered the re­mains, said he was trau­ma­tised at the find and that he had never seen any­thing like that be­fore.

“I can’t sleep at night af­ter see­ing the skele­ton. Some­thing must be done with that area as it is dan­ger­ous and a lot of peo­ple are be­ing mugged,” he told The Star.

Moni added that all the trees in the veld must be cut be­cause if it wasn’t for the trees, the body would have been dis­cov­ered a lot ear­lier.

Al­though the iden­tity of the corpse was un­known, a fel­low res­i­dent be­lieves that the re­mains were those of a 23-year-old man named Thabo who lived in Zone 11.

Res­i­dents in­sisted that it was the young man be­cause they recog­nised the clothes he was wear­ing. Ju­dah Hlong­wane, who was very close to the sup­posed dead man, said his friend was last seen in Jan­uary last year.

“The last time I saw Thabo he asked me for money so that he could buy bread,” said Hlong­wane.

“I gave him the money and that was the last time I saw him.”

Hlong­wane said Thabo was living in an aban­doned house but later moved to a de­serted area filled with tall trees.

Other res­i­dents de­scribed Thabo as hav­ing a good heart and that he earned a living of­fer­ing his ser­vices as a gar­dener.

“He was very small framed, hum­ble and hard-work­ing as he would of­ten come to my house and ask for water,” Tommy Kuma said.

Kuma said he also be­lieved that the re­mains were those of Thabo as he used to live near the site where the re­mains were found.

Kuma told The Star that he would of­ten ask Thabo where he was living be­fore he be­came home­less and he would say to him that he lived in Zone 11.

“That was the only thing he would ever say to me be­cause he didn’t tell me why he left home,” he said.

The Star vis­ited Thabo’s fam­ily home and, upon ar­rival, a con­fused and dis­traught woman, be­lieved to be his mother, an­swered the door.

She said she was still wait­ing for the DNA re­sults to ver­ify if the corpse was in­deed her son.

The el­derly woman, who asked to re­main anony­mous, said she was still shocked fol­low­ing the dis­cov­ery of the re­mains as it could mean that her child, who she last saw last Jan­uary, could in fact be dead.

“My hus­band was the one who went to iden­tify the skele­ton and spoke to the po­lice of­fi­cers,” she ex­plained.

“My son used to smoke glue a lot. He was a quiet per­son and we would of­ten ar­gue about him smok­ing glue.”

She added that she con­tacted the po­lice af­ter hear­ing about the dis­cov­ery as she feared it could be Thabo.

Po­lice spokesper­son Cap­tain Te­boho Lephoto said an in­quest docket had been opened.

“Com­mu­nity mem­bers were able to iden­tify the de­ceased through the clothes and blan­kets that were found around the skele­ton”.

Lephoto said the skele­ton had been taken for fur­ther test­ing and they were still await­ing the pathol­ogy re­port.

‘I gave him money and that was the last time I saw him’

TRAU­MATIC FIND: A Hu­man skele­ton that was found in Se­bo­keng Zone 10 is be­lieved to be that of a 23-year-old man who went miss­ing more than a year ago.

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