Durban - When Thembinkosi Terrance Maliti waved his 10-year-old son goodbye last Thursday, he never thought it would be for good. “It was at around 6.30am, I’d just dropped him at school,” he said on Monday. “That was the last time I saw my little boy”.
Maliti’s son, Luyanda Msomi, never returned home that evening. “I was so confused, I didn’t sleep,” Maliti said.
For the next two days, he was unrelenting in his search for Luyanda. Then on Saturday, officers from the SAPS Search and Rescue unit recovered the child’s bruised and battered body from dense bush, in Montclair, south Durban.
Maliti’s voice shook as he described the pain of losing his son.
“The person who did this killed my heart, she killed me,” he said. “I don’t know why she killed him… I have two boys, he was my first born – a gentle, innocent, friendly little guy.”
Luyanda disappeared with his best friend, Njabulo Mankayi. Maliti said the Grade 3 pair were “too close” and that they did everything together. They were last seen boarding a bus together, on their way home from school.
Read: Frantic search for missing boy
Shortly after they were reported missing, detective Warrant Officer Marius van der Looy and his team swooped on a female suspect. As she appeared before the Durban Magistrate’s court on Monday, police were recovering Njabulo’s body from the harbour waters.
Police spokesperson Colonel Thembeka Mbhele said a Transnet pollution officer found the boy.
Also read: Missing boy's body found
Amahle Bongiwe Maliwa stands charged with kidnapping and murdering the boys. She is also facing two counts of assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm.
Njabulo’s father, Thandazi Mankayi, on Monday confirmed that he and the petite 28-year-old were having an affair and that after three years, he ended it a month ago.
Maliwa was barefoot and appeared dishevelled in the dock on Monday.
The court heard the State was opposing bail and that due to the serious offences she was charged with, the onus would be on Maliwa to prove the existence of exceptional circumstances warranting her release.
Magistrate Mahomed Motala remanded her into custody – at the Brighton Beach police station – until next week, for Maliwa to secure the services of a private attorney.
In the meantime, two more suspects are expected to appear in court later this week. A small group of community members were at court on Monday.
They protested on the lawns after proceedings, calling for Maliwa to be denied bail.