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Johannesburg - His name was Siphosihle, but he was better known as Sipho.
No one knows his exact age, because his birth was never registered.
What is known is that he was beaten to death, dressed in new clothes and carried like a sleeping child to a spot close to the railway line in the Hlongwane Section in Ekurhuleni.
His body showed signs of abuse - cigarette burns on his stomach, a broken rib that had healed.
We can’t reveal Sipho’s surname or that of this family because of the nature of the crime.
It took detectives nearly two months, but now they have a name for the boy and are hunting two suspects. Detectives have pieced together Sipho’s story - a tale of incest and neglect.
Sipho’s mother and father are niece and uncle, and it was his mother who, accompanied by police, went to the Germiston State Mortuary last week to identify her son.
She had approached the police after seeing an identikit compiled by the SAPS Forensic Science Laboratory, that had appeared on the front page of The Star.
“She told detectives that she could no longer look after Sipho and had taken him to live with his father and his father’s new girlfriend,” said police spokesman Captain Piet Rossouw.
The father and his girlfriend are apparently on the run.
Police discovered that a missing person report had been opened for the boy on October 11, by Wellington Mbatha on behalf of the father, nearly two months after Sipho was found dead.
Mbatha and the father had allegedly met in jail.
“In his report, Mbatha said that he had seen Sipho the day before,” said Rossouw.
Mbatha was arrested and charged with perjury.
On Tuesday, Sipho’s great-grandmother told The Star how her son, after being released from prison and while on parole, began a relationship with his 13-year-old niece.
He was staying with relatives in Windmill Park, in Ekurhuleni, at the time. Police are not sure what crime the suspect had been jailed for. He appears not to have an identity number.
“When she fell pregnant at age 16, I asked her who the father was and she refused to tell,” she said.
The great-grandmother eventually found out and told her son to leave. Two weeks later, Sipho’s mother fled and joined her uncle.
Rossouw said they stayed in Thokoza for a while pretending to be husband and wife. But after being abused, Sipho’s mother left.
The great-grandmother said she last saw Sipho in June.
On October 11, the day the missing person report was filed, Sipho’s father phoned her to say that the boy was missing.
How the law defines incest
The Criminal Law (Sexual Offences and Related Matters) Amendment Act 32 of 2007 states the following in relation to incestuous acts:
Persons who may not lawfully marry each other on account of consanguinity (blood relationship), affinity or an adoptive relationship and who unlawfully and intentionally engage in an act of sexual penetration with each other are, despite their mutual consent to engage in such act, guilty of the offence of incest.
The prohibited degrees of consanguinity are:
* Ascendants and descendants in the direct line.
* Collaterals - If either is related to their common ancestor in the first degree of descent.
The prohibited degrees of affinity are relations by marriage in the ascending and descending line (relationship that a person has to the blood relatives of a spouse).
And an adoptive relationship is as provided for in any other law.
* Police investigating Siphosihle’s case said it was up to the court to decide on additional charges, including incest.