Harding, KwaZulu-Natal - A Harding father has spoken of his grief at seeing his daughter’s body ripped to pieces after she was apparently hacked, beaten and set upon by dogs.
Mother of two Nomthandazo Mpangase, 32, was to have been a bridesmaid at a friend’s wedding and was going to town for a dress last Tuesday fitting when she was ambushed.
A man known to her has been arrested in connection with her death and appeared briefly in the Harding Magistrate’s Court on March 7, said police spokesman Captain Thulani Zwane.
He is due back in court on Friday.
Nomthandazo’s distraught father, Bernard Radebe, told the Daily News on Tuesday that he received a call on Tuesday last week to go to the village of Santombe, where his children lived.
“I was told my daughter was hurt. I thought she may have been in a taxi crash.”
A local councillor and neighbour, Mnyamezela Dlamini, said he called Radebe and then drove around the area looking for him.
He found him and they drove to the scene together.
“When we turned into the road, we saw her shoes. He (Radebe)... whimpered: ‘Oh God, my daughter is dead.’
“About 10m on, we passed her bag, then about 20m from there, her body, covered in a blanket.”
Dlamini said a crowd had surrounded Nomthandazo’s body and paramedics had kept them at bay. But after telling them he was with her father, they let them through the wall of people, some of them strangers.
“Her legs were on the road and the rest of her body on the grass,” said Dlamini.
“When we uncovered her, the flesh on her legs had been torn out, there were dog bite marks all over them. Her head was a mess. She had a gaping hole in the back of it and blood was everywhere.”
Radebe, who runs a traditional medicine stall in the town, said: “I have never seen such a thing. My daughter was all cut up like a piece of meat.
“We buried her on Saturday but even now I feel like someone will come and tell me it did not happen. Everything in me hurts.”
He had last seen her the previous day when she had passed by his stall on the way from shopping for her two children, he said.
Dlamini said Radebe sagged to the ground next to his daughter after seeing her slashed body.
“When her brother arrived, he just rolled on the ground resting his head on her feet. He cried out aloud that she had just left home, he had just seen her.”
While waiting for the mortuary van, Radebe’s other daughter arrived. Unable to handle the gruesome sight, she fainted.
“Even now, she will be doing something then suddenly throw things on the floor and get hysterical then faint,” said Radebe.
“It has been suggested that we get her psychological help; it was not right for her to see her little sister like that.”
Radebe said the suspect was known to his family.
Despite his sorrow, he had reached out to the suspect’s family, hoping for any information on why she was killed.
But he said no one was talking and none of them had attended his daughter’s funeral.
“I imagine they must also be going through something themselves,” Radebe said.