Morgue search finds botanist

Afro Voice (Western Cape) - - Kwazulu-natal News - SIBONGISENI MAPHUMULO si­bongisenim@afro­

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.

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