Durban — A trip to a swimming pool for five teenagers was interrupted when they discovered a murdered man’s body near a river in the Verulam area on Wednesday.
The teenagers found the body next to a river in Buffelsdraai.
Reaction Unit South Africa spokesperson Prem Balram said the teenagers, aged between 13 and 15, arrived at Reaction Unit South Africa (Rusa) headquarters at 10.58am and informed the controller on duty that they were walking from their homes in Buffelsdraai to the Lotusville swimming pool when they noticed a man lying next to the river.
He said the teenagers approached a group of adults and told them about the discovery, but they would not help them. The teenagers then hiked to Rusa headquarters and reaction officers took the teenagers to the scene.
“Officers discovered the body of a man in his late twenties lying in a prone position next to a river. He had sustained a gunshot wound to his lower back. His body was in a state of post-mortem rigidity,” Balram said.
At the time, he said the identity of the victim was unknown.
KwaZulu-Natal police spokesperson Lieutenant-Colonel Nqobile Gwala said that police in Verulam were investigating a case of murder after the body of an unknown man was found next to a river with a gunshot wound on Wednesday.
“Circumstances surrounding the incident are being investigated,” Gwala said.
Later in the day, Balram said that the man was identified by a man and woman who arrived at Rusa headquarters in the afternoon.
“The man informed reaction officers that he and his 21-year-old friend, Sboniso Ntinga, from Gwadane in Osindisweni were searching for scrap metal when a group of men in a white bakkie (make and registration unknown) approached them at high speed,” Balram said.
“The two fled in different directions. His friend concealed himself and witnessed Ntinga being shot in the back. The suspects thereafter loaded him into the rear of the bakkie and drove off. His friend proceeded to his residence and waited for Ntinga to return. This afternoon (Wednesday), he learnt from the girlfriend that the body of an unidentified man had been discovered in the vicinity of the area they had been searching for scrap metal.”
Balram said that was when the two went to Rusa offices to verify the deceased’s identity.
“Sboniso Ntinga was identified as the deceased from crime scene photographs,” Balram said.
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