Mom iden­ti­fies burnt body of her child

The Star Early Edition - - NEWS - MATLHATSI DIBAKWANE

HER young body was found in the bush, burnt and with a vis­i­bly swollen neck.

And when Lindiwe Nkosi iden­ti­fied the body as that of her daugh­ter, who had not come home the pre­vi­ous day, the dev­as­tated mom knew she would never have peace again for as long as she lived.

The body was burnt be­yond recog­ni­tion, she said yes­ter­day, but there was no doubt that the body was that of her 11-yearold daugh­ter, No­luthando, who went miss­ing in Soshanguve on Mon­day.

“I could not recog­nise my baby girl as she was se­verely burnt. All I could see were the teeth and the shoes she wore, be­cause I knew all her clothes.”

The girl had been vis­it­ing her grand­mother’s house and went out with her friends to buy vetkoeke.

The friends told her fam­ily that she de­cided to head home to see her older brother, Nkosi­nathi. She never ar­rived and was found dead in Soshanguve the next day.

Dev­as­tated and heart­bro­ken, the girl’s mother said her daugh­ter was usu­ally home be­fore 6pm. But on Mon­day when the mother came back from work she was sur­prised to find she was not home, and when the grand­mother con­firmed No­luthando was not with her, she pan­icked.

They went to the po­lice sta­tion that same night to re­port her as miss­ing. “My fam­ily and the com­mu­nity went out in their num­bers to search for her, blow­ing whis­tles, call­ing out and mak­ing noises to at­tract her, but with no luck.”

Nkosi de­scribed the night her daugh­ter went miss­ing as an emo­tional night­mare and the long­est night of her life.

The com­mu­nity and fam­ily re­sumed the search on Tues­day morn­ing. At about 4pm, Nkosi got the call that would break her heart. “I got a call that they had found the body of a child in the bush. I ran there pray­ing it would not be the daugh­ter I gave birth to.”

Nkosi said res­i­dents stopped her from get­ting close, say­ing the child was ly­ing burnt on elec­tric­ity ca­bles and there was ev­i­dence that her body had been set alight.

She still had to iden­tify the charred re­mains of her child.

“I could not recog­nise my baby girl on that day. I told the foren­sic pathol­o­gists that this was not my child but asked them to show me her clothes, and to my hor­ror I recog­nised her shoes and teeth, and I knew it was my girl.”

Nkosi said she wanted jus­tice for her child. No­luthando’s brother was also trau­ma­tised: “He doesn’t want to go out as he’s afraid that who­ever killed his sis­ter will come for him,” she said.

Po­lice com­mu­ni­ca­tions of­fi­cer Con­sta­ble Mat­sobane Mabusela said the in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the case was on­go­ing.

The grisly find fol­lows the dis­ap­pear­ance of Soshanguve teacher Philile Gumede in April.

GRISLY FIND: No­luthando Nkosi’s bat­tered and burnt body was found on Wed­nes­day.

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