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Johannesburg - The body of a young man who was found dead on a pavement in Soweto has been identified.

Last Monday, residents in Protea Glen found him lying on a pavement near a field, foaming at the mouth. By the time paramedics arrived, the man had already died. He was taken to a government mortuary.

He was initially thought to be a boy between the ages of 8 and 12. But Soweto police spokesman Warrant Officer Kay Makhubela said his family had verified that he was actually 19 years old. “His body was very small,” she said.

A relative from Sebokeng came to identify the body on Tuesday, but investigating officers waited until on Thursday to take it to the mortuary. “They had to follow a procedure first,” said Makhubela.

He said the post-mortem showed that the boy may have been poisoned.

“What we don’t know is whether he ate it or if someone gave it to him,” said Makhubela.

He said it was not clear what the man had been doing in Protea Glen, but the police had found out that he used to work with his brother washing cars in Lenasia.

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The Star