Durban - The remains of a 12-year-old KwaDabeka boy – one of three local children who went missing in recent weeks – has been found horribly mutilated, sparking fears for children’s safety in the area.
Wonderboy Gcwensa had been missing for two weeks, and on Thursday, his body was found in a bush with his genitals, eyes, intestines and tongue missing. His head had been chopped off.
Now residents of C-Section in KwaDabeka, near Pinetown, are fearing for their children’s lives.
The other two children are still missing.
An area committee member, Muzi Ndlovu, said locals were afraid and on edge after the discovery of Wonderboy’s body.
“We are having a meeting on Sunday to discuss a way to keep the area safe for our children.
Adding to their concern was the discovery of a skeleton last month, which appeared to have had the head separated.
“Safety is now a huge concern in the area,” he said.
Ndlovu said the bones were found in an area in C-Section nearby where residents tend a communal vegetable garden.
The Gcwensa family had been searching for two weeks for the boy, and last week their worst fears were confirmed when they found him dead not far from their home.
Elizabeth Gcwensa told the Daily News on Monday that her grandson’s body was found in bush used as a shortcut to the township’s A-Section.
Wonderboy had been playing close to his home with other children at about 6pm on April 29 when a nearby streetlight burnt out, she said.
“Soon after the light went out the other children realised that Wonderboy was no longer there. That was when our search began.”
Gcwensa said that on Thursday she had decided to stay at home and not join other relatives who had gone to look for him at hospitals.
A relative then called with a request that made her go cold.
“She asked me to come to where she was, not far from our home. When I got there she introduced me to a schoolboy who said he had seen a body in the forest and the clothes on the body matched those of Wonderboy’s,” she said.
The boy told them he had bunked school the day before and had gone to his friend’s house in A-Section. On his way back he used the shortcut through the bush.
“The boy said he could smell something and when he looked down he saw a head and he looked around for a body and he found it,” Gcwensa said.
“The black refuse bag that it had been covered with had begun tearing and that was how he was able to see the clothes.”
Gcwensa said she contacted other relatives and police. When they got to the scene they found Wonderboy’s head was about 5m away from his body.
“I’ll never forget that day. My poor child, his eyes had been dug out, and there were only teeth in his mouth, no tongue,” she said.
“The T-shirt he was wearing was hugging his ribs and hollowed where the stomach is. His one shoe was close to the body.”
Gcwensa said the father of one of the other missing children had come to their home on Sunday, and as they prayed, he began to cry, saying although Wonderboy was dead at least the family was lucky enough to have found him.
Speaking to the Daily News on Monday, Mduduzi Mbutho said all he wanted was to find his child.
Ndumiso Mbutho, 9, who is deaf, had been playing alone near his home in C-Section on March 25, and when his family began looking for him at about 6.30pm, they could find no trace of him.
“We reported him missing to police and a K9 (dog) unit came out and searched everywhere around the area but we could not find him,” he said.
The family has put up posters on street poles in the area, and have also made a plea on a community radio station. Now they are hoping to at least find Ndumiso – alive or dead.
“The day after Ndumiso went missing, his older brother saw a red VW Golf speed by near our house. He said he saw Ndumiso in the back seat,” Mbutho said.
Gcwensa’s neighbours said they feared for their children who have been badly shaken up by the discovery of Wonderboy’s mutilated body.
Police spokesman, Captain Thulani Zwane, confirmed that Wonderboy had been one of three missing children.
He said police were investigating and no arrests had been made.
Details of the third missing child were not available by the time of publication.
Zwane said police had opened an inquest docket after the human remains were found in April.
“The matter was reported at KwaDabeka police station and a case of inquest was opened for further investigation.
“The motive for the killing is unknown and the remains are suspected to be those of a male person,” he said.
He appealed to any families who have relatives missing in the area to come forward for DNA purposes so the remains can be identified.
“It worries police that three children went missing in C-Section and anyone with information regarding the disappearances is urged to contact KwaDabeka police,” he said.