A mother’s agonising search for her daughter has come to a tragic end.
On Thursday, Ntombizodwa Ntsabo, 28, got the devastating confirmation she has been dreading – that bones found a month ago are, in fact, the remains of her darling daughter.
Police have three suspects in custody and are investigating whether Asemahle Ntsabo, six, was murdered for muti after she vanished on January 21 this year.
The six-year-old was last seen close to her Mbekweni home while her mother was busy doing someone’s hair.
Then early last month, shocked residents made a grisly find – a skull and some bones scattered along a railway line about 600m from her home.
On Thursday, police confirmed that DNA tests prove the bones belong to the missing girl.
Three men have been arrested for her abduction and murder and have appeared in the Paarl Magistrates’ Court.
Songezo Mpitolo was the first to be arrested three weeks after she went missing.
Witnesses say he had been seen walking with Asemahle days before her disappearance.
While cops were investigating Mpitolo, they got a lead that Langa Mbijana was involved.
Shortly after picking Mbijana up, he allegedly confessed to police that he had killed the girl.
He even showed cops where he hid the body but the remains were not found.
Then, on Wednesday, Phumelele Nodede was arrested.
It is alleged that Asemahle was killed in Nodede’s shack which has since been destroyed.
The place where Asemahle is believed to have been killed is about 30 metres from her home.
All three men face charges of kidnapping and murder.
Police spokesman Warrant Officer November Filander says while they cannot speculate whether the girl was killed for muti, it will form part of their investigation.
The case has now been postponed to June 28 so a High Court or Regional Court date can be set.
“I can’t believe no one heard her scream because there are shacks all around,” says the victim’s distraught mom.
She says during her search for Asemahle that she often found herself outside the shack where she is alleged to have been killed.
“I had a weird feeling when I was close to that shack. I even went to knock even though I saw a big padlock, I still tried my luck,” she says.
“Every time I walked past there I just got a feeling that my child was either there or something happened while she was there.
“It’s difficult accepting her death, but since I have found her bones, I will bury her and try to move on.”
*This article was published in the Daily Voice