The Nyanga family of slain 8-year-old Lukhololwam Mkontwana have pinned their hopes on the justice system after a suspect was arrested in connection with his kidnapping, two years ago.
Lukhololwam’s lifeless body was found in September 2022, dumped near Botha Farm in Philippi.
The 8-year-old’s hands and feet were bound.
This was a few days after he was kidnapped by men who allegedly tricked him into going with them in a vehicle while he was playing with his friends a few metres from his home.
The alleged kidnappers demanded R100 000 for the boy’s safe return.
However, his 32-year-old mother could only send R1000 and that was the last time the family heard from the kidnappers.
According to police spokesperson FC Van Wyk a breakthrough in the case was made on January 4.
“This office can confirm that a 31-year-old suspect was arrested and appeared in Athlone Court on January 8, 2024.
“The suspect has been charged with kidnapping at this stage and not the murder case as there are still other suspects outstanding,” said Van Wyk.
A family member, who asked not to be named due to fear as other perpetrators have not been arrested, said they had gained a sense of hope when they were notified that someone was arrested. We feel like a step towards closure and finding answers has been taken. Some of us were starting to lose hope because we do hear of similar cases and families never find answers.
This season, when it is back to school for children, we are reminded of how much he enjoyed going to school,” she said.
Nyanga Community Policing Forum (CPF) chairperson Dumsani Qwabe said they were shocked to learn the accused is a neighbour.
“We have been told this is a person who stays about 200 metres from the boy's home.
“This is someone who visited the family while (they) were in fear, not knowing the whereabouts of their child and when (they) were grieving his death, he was there.
“That is what we called pure evil, we have also learnt that he has a case in Eastern Cape.
“This means he is dangerous and cannot live in our communities. We will mobilise and go with a petition to court on Tuesday. He must not get bail,” said Qwabe.
The accused is expected back at the Athlone Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday.