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Johannesburg - He lay in a government morgue for six months, facing a pauper’s burial, until an 11th-hour breakthrough helped identify him and his alleged killers.
Orphaned Thokozani Sibiya, 16, was reported missing to the police by his aunt on October 13. For six months, police struggled to find his relatives.
His body was found in a dam near Midrand.
Allegations are that a week after the teen’s disappearance, a man was performing rituals at the dam when he saw Thokozani’s floating body.
Police were called. For months they were unable to find Thokozani’s family. Then, just as the boy was to be buried as a pauper, police decided to contact all the police stations in their North Rand cluster.
In Tembisa, a missing person docket had been opened six months earlier and not closed. When Olifantsfontein police called Thokozani’s uncle to come and see whether the body of about to be buried could be his missing nephew, he positively identified it.
Police then linked Thokozani’s aunt, Nontandabuzo Engelina Xolilizwe, and Edwin Matloma to his alleged murder.
The pair were arrested for murder, kidnapping and defeating the ends of justice.
On Tuesday, they made their first appearance in the Johannesburg High Court, sitting at the Protea Magistrate’s Court, but the matter was rolled over until today.
Initially, the pair were to be represented by the same lawyer, but they have now indicated that each would have their own.
According to the indictment, there was an argument between the 49-year-old woman and his nephew over tuckshop money that was short on October 12 .
Xolilizwe and Matloma allegedly took Thokozani to the house, locked him in a room and assaulted him until he died.
They tied his hands and feet, and put him in the boot of Xolilizwe’s car.
She then allegedly dumped the body in a dam.