Boy in boot died of suffocation: police

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The car in which the body of a child was found in Kubjana village near Relela, Limpopo. Villagers torched three cars, the house and shop of a businessman following the discovery. Photo: Itumeleng English

Johannesburg - The three-year-old boy found dead in the boot of a car in Kubjana village near Relela died of suffocation, Limpopo police said on Friday.

“A post mortem which was conducted on Thursday has showed that Tsephi Makgopa Mulaudzi, whose lifeless body was found in a vehicle of the businessman at Kubjana, died of suffocation,” Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi said.

“The body was intact and no body parts were missing.”

Mulaudzi said they suspected no foul play. The car's owner, a local businessman, found the body on Wednesday evening after noticing his car's light were on. He then called the police, Lt-Col Moatshe Ngoepe said.

It was found that three children had locked themselves in his car.

“(They) had locked themselves in the car while playing for hours and they were found by the owner when he got back from work,” Ngoepe said.

The other two children were unharmed. Kubjana residents torched the car owner's property on Thursday.

Lt-Col Ronel Otto said residents accused the owner of kidnapping the children and trying to use their body parts for muti.

“After they torched his home, car and shop, (the) police took the businessman and his family to a place of safety. Residents also stoned police vehicles. Police used rubber bullets to disperse the crowds,” Otto said.

Hangwani said an inquest docket would be sent to court for a decision on whether somebody could be held responsible for the child's death.

“The investigation will also include how and why the children were locked inside the vehicle.”

Meanwhile, police still had no leads on the killing and mutilation of 20-year-old Kgomotso Ragolane, from Relela. She was found dead last Friday.

Ragolane had her right hand removed, and her cellphone and house keys were placed inside her stomach which had been cut open. Two people were taken in for questioning but later released.

Limpopo police commissioner Fannie Masemola appealed to residents to allow police to investigate the matter without disruptions.

“I am requesting members of the community to come forward with concrete and tangible information which can be followed up, rather than meaningless and (damaging) allegations,” he said.

He appealed for calm.

“The police are also still awaiting the reports from the Independent Police Investigative Directorate into the alleged shooting and killing by police of 15-year-old Tshepo Baloyi last Saturday, as well as the two other victims, Clarence Molele and Stanley Molewa, who were also shot and killed on Tuesday,” said Masemola.

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