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Johannesburg - The death of a 19-year-old Soweto student found last week at a government mortuary remains a mystery.
Kliptown police spokeswoman Captain Nondumiso Mpantsha said a culpable homicide case was being investigated.
But Mpho Gumbi’s family are certain he was murdered.
Gumbi, an IT student at PC Training College in Joburg, was last seen on August 30. The teen had left his Pimville home that Friday morning to write an exam.
His body was found the following Thursday at the mortuary at Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital. His face was bruised and he had a wound at the back of his head, said his father Doctor Baloyi.
The family said what hurt them the most was the fact that they had previously visited the hospital wards, but not the mortuary.
They had also been to the police station and were told that a case of an unknown person had not been registered on August 30.
“We checked with the police station on the Monday and later opened a missing person’s case. They said there had not been a body found. Meanwhile, the patrolling officer had responded the same night he went missing. It is clear that he was found in Pimville. He was found not far from home, around 3 o’clock on Saturday morning,” said the devastated dad.
The family had visited two hospitals, a local tavern the teen had allegedly been spotted at and some pubs and bars around Braamfontein, but the search yielded no results.
“An arrangement was made with the tavern owner to view video footage. I can confirm that Mpho was there. I saw the footage, but no one was able to tell us what happened to him later,” Baloyi said.
On Thursday afternoon, Baloyi and his brother, the teenager’s uncle, made the gruesome discovery at the mortuary.
“It is every father’s pain to see his child in that manner. I knew it was my son when his body was to be viewed. His left hand was stretched out of the tray,” said Baloyi, adding that he had a bracelet on the wrist, something he immediately recognised
“We still had hope that he was alive because there were possible leads but, unfortunately, they took us nowhere,” Baloyi said.
Gumbi’s watch, cellphone and wallet are missing.