Johannesburg - A six-year-old girl was strangled, allegedly by her cousin, in an informal settlement in Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal police said on Monday.
The 17-year-old relative, suspected of also raping the child, has been arrested.
“Police found the body of a missing child...covered with a blanket and lying under a bed in a house in the area (on Saturday),” said Captain Thulani Zwane.
“The girl sustained bruises to her neck, face and thighs - attesting that she may have been raped - assaulted and thereafter strangled.”
The girl was seen at 10am that day playing outside her house with some children.
At about 2pm, her aunt realised she was nowhere to be found and informed the child's mother.
“Members of the family then searched for (the girl) and after a six-hour search reaped no result, police were contacted,” said Zwane.
Police carried out a search, and at about midnight police received a call from the family saying the child's body had been found.
“It is alleged that (another) cousin returned home at midnight and ... discovered the victim's body and immediately informed the family,” said Zwane.
He said members of the family and community residents apprehended the alleged perpetrator and assaulted him before contacting police.
“He sustained bruises to his face.”
“It is believed that while (the girl) was playing outside she was lured into the cousin's house, neighbouring her mother's house, where she was allegedly raped, assaulted and strangled...before the suspect shoved her body under a bed in the house.”
The 17-year-old boy was due to appear in the Pietermaritzburg Magistrate's Court shortly. - Sapa