Johannesburg - A boy whose death in Protea Glen, Soweto, is a mystery has yet to be claimed three days after his body was found.
The child died on Monday night. His body was found next to the wall of a house in Extension 10.
Themba Mthembu, who lives near where the body was found, said: “I arrived home after 9.30pm. According to neighbours, the boy had been there for a while and was foaming at the mouth. They suspected he had eaten poison.”
He said residents’ main concern was illegal dumping in the area.
“There is a field opposite the houses and people throw things there that may be harmful.”
Residents thought they had seen the boy earlier at a game shop.
A woman who wanted to be known only as Mashudu said the boy was found by a neighbour who had gone to drop a rubbish bag in the open field at about 7.30pm.
“He saw the child lying on the pavement just across the field and called his father.”
Mashudu said the boy looked about 8 or 9 years old. “He didn’t seem to have any bruises. He was lying as though someone had put him there.”
The boy remained conscious for a while, but when paramedics arrived at about 8pm, he had died.
She said they initially thought the child was from the area, but when no one claimed him, they believed he might be from the Waterworks informal settlement.
“The whole thing was strange. The child was clean; he didn’t look as if he had been playing. No child would be out so late,” she said.
Another neighbour, who did not want to be named, said there was a woman who looked “suspicious” in the crowd that gathered next to the boy. “She was just standing around, looking confused. No one knew who she was,” she said.
Soweto police spokesman Kay Makhubela said the boy had still not been identified. “The cause of death is unknown. We are waiting for the post-mortem to be completed.
“Anyone who has lost a child, please come to the Protea Glen police station,” he said.
Last month, a toddler’s body was found under a bridge next to the R511 in Diepsloot, north of Joburg. Three families have come forward to claim the body, and police have taken DNA samples from them to see if there is a match.
In August last year, a little boy’s body was found alongside a railway line in Hlongwane section, Katlehong. It took two months before anyone came to forward to identify the child.