Cape Town - Police have charged a father with murder after he allegedly buried his 14-month-old son in a shallow grave under his bed.
Zolani Malanga, 32, is expected to appear on Monday at the Bellville Magistrates’ Court for the murder of his son Zondre Parks.
Cops are trying to determine how Zondre died.
They are not sure if he was buried alive, poisoned or suffocated to death.
Police spokesperson Elvis Mahote says: “A 33-year-old father has been charged after the dead body of his baby was found buried in a grave inside his shack.”
Malanga was allegedly found with the naked corpse of his son inside his shack during the early hours of on Thursday morning in Botterboom Street, Delft-South.
The shallow grave could still be seen under Malanga’s bed.
Zondre’s distraught mother Nadia Parks, 35, says she and Malanga had a rocky relationship and that he was a maintenance dodger.
Nadia says that although Malanga never supported his son, he often fetched him for small visits.
It was one such visit that ended in tragedy on Wednesday night.
She says Malanga came to her home at 9pm, while she was playing with Zondre.
“He asked to take Zondre to the shop and said I must put a warm top on for him,” says Nadia.
“I didn’t think he was going to be away for long.”
But after a while, Nadia became worried when they did not return.
“I walked down the street and I sent my seven-year-old son Nevan to look at the shop,” she says.
“I then SMSed his (Malanga’s) uncle and asked if Malanga was there with Zondre.”
Sick with worry, Nadia says she also contacted the detectives dealing with her maintenance case against Malanga.
Then she received an SMS from the uncle saying she should come fetch Zondre.
“It was already after 11pm. I SMSed back it was late and that Malanga should bring the child back to me,” says Nadia.
Another hour passed before a police van came to collect her and took her to Botterboom street.
It was there where she saw a hive of activity – including police vans and an ambulance.
“A captain told me my child is late and that he is sorry, I already knew my child is gone,” she says.
“I asked to see his body because I wanted to see his smile, his dimples.
“I saw the grave was inside his shack, Zondre lay stiff with his arms and legs pulled out.”
Malanga’s aunts, who are 46 and 36 years old, say they were alerted to Zondre’s death after Malanga’s drinking buddy came to them to say he had done something to the boy.
“Malanga told the friend he took a decision about his child.
“The friend came inside and told the uncle what Malanga,” says the 36-year-old aunt.
She says her husband went into the shack and found Malanga on his bed.
“My husband asked him where the child is, Malanga said he killed the child,” she says.
Malanga then allegedly started digging up the tiny body.