Durban - A day after five-year-old Samkelo Ngidi was reported missing by his family, after he had not been dropped off by his pre-school teacher, his body was found in a bush in a garden next to the school.
The shocked family had at first thought that Samkelo had been mauled by dogs, but after finding his partially naked body, they realised that he may have been murdered.
A post-mortem is to be done to see how he died.
Samkelo’s body, clad only in his underpants, was found in Amatikwe, near Inanda.
“We had thought it might have been the dogs, but those scratches (on his feet) are certainly not enough to kill someone,” said Samkelo’s grieving grandmother, Doreen Ngidi.
“Someone, or something else, killed my son’s child.”
Samkelo was last seen by his grandmother and two aunts on Monday morning when his teacher fetched him from his house to take him to school
The teacher was also supposed to have dropped him off after school, Ngidi said.
Samkelo’s body was found by his father, Sbu Ngidi, and his grandfather in bushes in the yard of a woman who lives next door to the school.
The woman is believed to own several dogs and had told the family to watch out, as the dogs were vicious.
The granny said a child from the neighbourhood told the family that the dog owner had found Samkelo’s backpack in her yard on Monday afternoon.
“The child described the backpack to us and we knew there and then that it was his,” she said.
“When Sbu arrived there and they were told about the dogs, we all thought the worst; we thought wherever Samkelo is, he has been mauled by these dogs.”
Ngidi said Sbu found Samkelo’s shoe, and when he looked closer into the bush he saw his son’s feet.
She said the family was having a tough time trying to figure out what had happened.
Samkelo’s body had no other marks on it, she said.
His clothes have not been found.
“If he had been killed by dogs, it would have been easier to accept, rather than knowing that my grandchild, a five-year-old, has been killed like this – like a common criminal,” Ngidi said.
Police spokesman, Captain Thulani Zwane, said Samkelo had been reported missing by his family on Monday.
“An inquest docket has been opened and results of a post-mortem will tell us what caused the child’s death,” he said.
Samkelo’s funeral is being planned for Sunday.