Durban - The family of a heavily pregnant woman whose burnt and dismembered body was found in bushes in Chesterville on Friday, are reluctant to proceed with funeral plans until her head - and the missing foetus - are found.
Sanelisiwe Mkhize, 22, of KwaNdengezi near Pinetown, was nine months pregnant when she was reported missing in February.
On Friday, police arrested a man known to her and who had also helped the family search for her.
He is expected to appear in court today on a charge of murder.
Police spokesman, Captain Thulani Zwane, said the 24-year-old man identified what were believed to be some of Mkhize’s remains in thick bushes in Chesterville’s Road 25.
“It is believed she was chopped up into pieces after being killed. DNA tests will establish whether the recovered remains were of the missing person.”
Mkhize had left her home on February 20 to spend the night at an acquaintance’s house, her older sister, Lungile, 34, said on Sunday.
She was planning to go to King Edward VIII Hospital the next morning as she had an appointment with a doctor.
“I spoke to her on the phone on that day and she said she was with the (acquaintance), and they were on their way to his home in Chesterville,” she said.
Lungile said her sister had expected to give birth at any time and carried a hospital emergency bag with her everywhere.
The next day the man kept calling another sister’s cellphone, but cutting it off each time, she said.
“We had assumed that Saneli had maybe given birth and that was why he was ‘missed calling’ my sister. I phoned Saneli first but her phone was off…”
Lungile said the man called again on Friday asking about Sanelisiwe’s whereabouts, as he had allegedly also been trying to reach her without success.
“He said we should maybe contact our uncle who lives in the Bluff because she might have gone to his house.”
Lungile said that after she called the uncle, who had not seen or heard from Sanelisiwe, she immediately called the acquaintance, wanting to know what exactly had happened when he was with her sister.
“He said on Friday morning he had accompanied her to the bus stop and had seen her board a 5.10am bus and she had hugged and kissed him before getting on the bus. He said at about 10am when he had tried phoning her the phone was off,” she said.
Lungile said the family searched for Sanelisiwe until about 11pm on Friday. They contacted the hospital, but were told she had not kept her appointment.
The man who had been with Sanelisiwe helped the family search for her, she said.
Lungile said she became suspicious of him when he suddenly moved to uMlazi, saying that he feared for his life as Chesterville residents suspected him of killing Sanelisiwe.
The family said they would not rest until they could bury her whole body.
“Now all we want is her head (and) the baby’s body, so we can lay them to rest.”