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Mtubatuba - A 59-year-old woman arrested in Mtubatuba north of Richards Bay has appeared briefly in court in connection with the murder of a three-year-old child reported missing last year, KwaZulu-Natal police said on Saturday.

It was alleged that Gamelihle “Gamo” Mdletshe was reported missing in December 2017 and a missing person Inquiry was opened for investigation, Lt-Col Thulani Zwane said.

A search for the missing child was conducted with members of the community assisting to find the child. A gruesome discovery was made on December 13, 2017 when the mutilated body of the boy was found floating at the Nyalazi River in the Nkundusi area.

The inquiry was immediately changed to a murder case, and the investigation led to the arrest of a relative of the boy. The suspect was charged and appeared in the Mtubatuba Magistrate's Court on Friday, where she was remanded in custody until Monday, Zwane said.

KwaZulu-Natal acting police commissioner Maj-Gen Bheki Langa lauded the officers responsible for the investigation and arrest.

 “We will ensure that we send a well-prepared docket to court for a successful prosecution. The perpetrator who was well trusted by the deceased’s parents did a cruel thing to a child. He was left in her care, yet she is the one who allegedly ended his life in such a horrendous manner.

"I further thank our detective team who showed their skills and talent in cracking the case that led to the arrest of the suspect,” Langa said.

African News Agency/ANA