Durban - A 70-year-old KwaZulu-Natal woman was laid to rest without her head, left forearm and right lower leg on Sunday after her dismembered body was found in a forest near her home.
Zondeni Mzobe had been missing and her son, Zamokwakhe Ndlovu, 40, later found her body after he said she came to him in a dream.
Ndlovu told the Daily News on Sunday of his horror at discovering the decomposing body of his mother who lived alone at the family home in Wewe, near KwaMaphumulo.
She was last seen on March 5, after she had finished work helping to fix roads and clear verges as part of a project run by the KZN Department of Transport.
Neighbours contacted Ndlovu after they went to check on Mzobe and found her home locked up and she had not returned after a few days.
Ndlovu, who lives in KwaMashu Hostel and works for a printing company in Helen Joseph (Davenport) Road, initially contacted his sister, Thandeka Ndlovu, in Verulam, and asked her to begin a search until he could get time off from work.
However, she could not find any trace of their mother and a few days later Ndlovu joined the search. He, too, had no success – until last weekend when he said he had a dream.
“My mother came to me and she asked what I was doing and I told her I was sleeping. Then she vanished,” Ndlovu said.
The following day, last Sunday, Ndlovu went to bathe in the forest in Wewe, taking a plastic basin with him as he sometimes did.
He had just entered the forest when he nearly stumbled on the body, he said.
“She was lying on her back, her headless body was horrifying. I trembled; my knees became weak. I realised it was her because she had been dressed in the same clothes that I saw in a dream – a red blouse. Her left forearm and her right leg were missing. I was very sad. I alerted neighbours and then the police who came to remove the corpse.”
Ndlovu believes his mother was kidnapped and dumped by people who knew that he often bathed in the forest.
“They did it purposely so that I could find her.”
Overcome with grief as he told hundreds of mourners at the funeral on Sunday how he had discovered his mother’s body, he collapsed momentarily.
Mourners shook their heads in disbelief.
Some spoke of their fears after the incident.
Zakhele Sibiya, who lives in Ridgeview, Durban, said he feared for the safety of his mother in Wewe. “I need to get someone to look after my mother. I wish a home for the aged could be built in the area. It could be much safer there,” he said. “Everyone is shocked after this.”
Ndlovu said his mother had been very kind and was liked by neighbours. While he could not say who was responsible for her murder, he said he believed the killer was from the area.
Mzobe was buried in eMathulini near the homes of her extended family.
Police spokesman, Captain Thulani Zwane, said an inquest docket had been opened.
“The woman’s body was badly decomposed and it was difficult to ascertain whether she had been murdered. We are awaiting the post mortem results to determine the cause of death,” he said.