Soweto’s grisly murder mystery

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Copy of ST ORLANDO MURDER648 THE STAR Relatives of the deceased look on as police investigate the scene where the body of a 24-year-old was found on Friday morning. Picture: Itumeleng English

Johannesburg - A Soweto man was found dead in his pyjamas with his ear cut off, his mouth taped shut and his body bound to a telephone pole on Friday morning.

“A child who was preparing for school in the house opposite noticed a man standing next to the pole,” said police spokesman Warrant Officer Kay Makhubela.

When the child alerted his parents to the strange sight in Orlando East at 6am, they investigated and called the police.

“His hands were tied at the back, his ear was cut off and the mouth was wrapped with sticky tape,” Makhubela said.

The spokesman said the 24-year-old man – who lived nearby – was bound tightly to the pole in his pyjamas, with his feet in sandals resting on the ground.

The man is believed to have lived in a shack in the yard of a relative’s house, about 10m from the pole.

“We don’t know what is the motive of the killing but we will investigate everything,” Makhubela said.

It is also still unclear what time the crime took place and it is unusual that the neighbours did not hear anything during the night as about six houses face the yard.

“I’m still shocked,” said Ben Difito, who is married to the murdered man’s aunt.

Difito left the area at 6.10pm on Thursday night to return to his house in Orlando West. He said he saw his nephew playing soccer with another family member.

Difito, a street vendor, said his daughter had phoned him in tears with the news about an hour after the body was discovered.

The site of the alleged murder, Molele Street, came to a standstill as curious neighbours came to look at the body. As there was no high wall or fence, neighbours and other onlookers could see the body and relatives sitting on the steps of the main house.

Difito said his nephew, whose name had not been released at the time of publication, had worked at some part-time jobs recently.

A case of murder was opened by police and no arrests had been made at the time of publication.

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