SOUTH AFRICA – 13-year-old Gabisile Shabani and her 15-month-old nephew, Nkosikhona Welcome Ngwenya were found murdered 24 days after they were kidnapped in South Africa.
Gabisile’s body was recovered at Cullinan in the bushes while Nkosikhona’s body was retrieved by police divers from the Zaalkap River on the N4 Highway en route to Pretoria on Wednesday morning.
At the time‚ Shabani’s mother told TimesLIVE that she believed the people who took her daughter and grandson were not South African nationals because of their accent when they spoke English.
Another relative said they believed Gabisile had been taken because she was an albino. They also believed the toddler had been mistaken for another toddler who was in the house at the time, who also suffered from albinism.
“A postmortem needs to be conducted to determine the cause of death and DNA tests to also confirm it is them‚” he said.
Hlathi would not immediately confirm whether any of the two bodies had been mutilated. He however, said that a 32 year-old suspect was arrested on Tuesday night.
The accused identified as Thokosani Msibi has made his first appearance in the Magistrate court in Nelspruit in relation to the murders.
Official bail hearing is set for 26 February. More may be arrested, according to Brigadier L. Hlathi.
“He was remanded in custody pending a bail application which is scheduled for February 26 2018‚” said Brigadier Leonard Hlathi. Thokozani Msibi was not asked to plead. The investigation regarding further suspects is underway‚” he added.
Motive is still unclear at this time but muti killing is being considered. As news of his arrest and the discovery of the children’s bodies spread‚ community members gathered at his house‚ wanting to torch it.
“We spoke to the community members and told them that destroying the house will amount to destroying evidence‚” said Hlathi.
Meanwhile, the community began to mobilise in support of the family‚ arranging a protest to the courthouse for Msibi’s next appearance.