Morgue search finds botanist
A PROVINCE-WIDE search in mortuaries across KwaZulu-Natal led to DNA test results conducted on unidentified remains found at a mortuary in northern KZN being positively identified as Rachel Saunders, 63.
Hawks spokesperson Capt Lloyd Ramovha said they had searched morgues in the north of the province since April, following the positive identification of the remains of Rachel’s husband Rodney Saunders, 72.
The British botanists from Cape Town went missing after February 10, while out searching for rare seeds near Bivane Dam in Vryheid, northern KZN.
Days after their disappearance, allegedly Isislinked Sayfydeen Aslam Del Vecchio, 38, and his terrorism suspect wife Fatima Patel, 27, were arrested with their 19yearold neighbour Thembamandla Xulu, who was found in possession of the couple’s cellphones.
Xulu was subsequently convicted and sentenced on May 25 to three years’ imprisonment, suspended for five years for illegal possession of stolen property.
The fourth suspect Ahmad Jackson Mussa‚ 36‚ was apprehended last month.
All three accused are due back in the Verulam Magistrate’s Court on August 24 to face a raft of charges, including murder.
IDENTIFIED: The Hawks have found the bodies of two missing botanists.