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Durban - A little girl who was taken by the hand by a man her aunt trusted so that she could relieve herself in the bush was found dead on Tuesday night.
She had an open wound to the head, police said.
The 6-year-old victim, Yoliswa Ludidi, is the granddaughter of Zanele Ludidi, the chairwoman of the province’s conservation and environmental affairs portfolio committee.
Her body was found by the police’s dog unit near a river in the Smero Location in Pietermaritzburg at 8.30pm.
Yoliswa was last seen alive being accompanied by a security guard her aunt knew and trusted.
Her family was in shock on Wednesday and could not believe what had happened.
Ludidi, who is a member of the provincial legislature, said the child had dreamt of becoming a doctor and had always “walked tall”.
Yoliswa went home after school on Tuesday and changed her clothing, said Ludidi. Her mother, Ningi, was not there, so she walked to see her aunt who lived less than 100m away.
A security guard, who worked at a nearby shop, whom the aunt knew, was visiting. The aunt left to go to a nearby shop.
Yoliswa wanted to go to the toilet. The guard accompanied her to some nearby bushes because there was no toilet at the house.
Ludidi said that when the aunt returned, other family members at the house asked her where Yoliswa was.
She did not know and found out from her own child that Yoliswa had left with the guard.
The aunt then began searching for the girl. When she could not find her in the area, she informed her neighbours and they began frantically looking for her.
The aunt then called Ningi and the police.
During the search, the neighbours found out from a tavern owner that a man, fitting the guard’s description, had been there earlier and had said that he had killed his girlfriend in Smero. Nobody at the tavern took him seriously.
Ludidi said the guard was nowhere to be seen on Wednesday.
She had been told that he contacted someone to say that he “made a mistake and will hand himself over to police”.
The ward councillor for the area, Thulani Xulu, said petty crimes, such as housebreakings, were common in the area, but not serious crimes.
“That’s why the community is up in arms and is shocked about this murder. I have advised them not to take the law into their own hands.
“The entire community is trying to assist police in finding the culprit. We have a description of him.”
He said Ningi was part of the community police forum and was helping to fight crime in the ward. It was sad that her daughter had become a victim of crime.
Police spokesman Captain Thulani Zwane said a murder docket had been opened. He said the motive for the killing was unknown and no arrests had been made.