Picture: Damaris Helwig/African News Agency (ANA) Archives
Picture: Damaris Helwig/African News Agency (ANA) Archives

Teen's body found in cemetery with rope around his neck

By Benida Phillips Time of article published Sep 10, 2018

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Kimberley - Mystery surrounds the death of a 16-year-old Pampierstad boy who was found dead with a rope tied around his neck in the local cemetery.

The family of Amogelang Itumeleng Motshedi were on Sunday still in the dark about the details surrounding the death of the teenager.

When they saw Amogelang’s body they said that there was evidence that he had been badly assaulted.

Amogelang’s grandmother, Bafajang Gaedume, said that the incident still feels surreal to her.

“I woke up on Thursday morning and cleaned the yard. As I was about to go back inside the house, two police officials driving in a white bakkie indicated to me that I must come closer to my gate. At first, I did not know that the people inside the vehicle were police officials as they were not dressed in uniform.

“I went closer and they asked me to come with them. I did not ask any questions nor did I even query why the people in the vehicle wanted me to accompany them. I told them that I wanted my daughter to come with me and they agreed,” said Gaedume.

She said that on the way to the cemetery the officials questioned them about their personal information.

“The one officer asked me whom I was staying with at the house. I told him I was staying with my daughter and my grandchildren. He asked if any of the children are going to school. I told him that the 13-year-old girl was attending school and that the 16-year-old boy had stopped going to school about three weeks ago.”

Gaedume said that the officials then explained that the reason why they had asked them to accompany them was because there was a body of a teenage boy found in the cemetery.

“The police officials told us that they are not saying that it is our child that was found but they wanted us to identify the body in order to be certain. At first, I did not think much of it and also did not think it was my child.”

Gaedume said that when they saw the body they could not believe their eyes.

“The police took us to some open spot inside the cemetery. The body was lying next to a small tree. We also saw that he had scuff marks on his face... The scuff marks were on the left side of his face as well as the front by the nose and forehead.

“There was also dirt inside his nose and mouth which also indicated that the person was dragging him while his face was on the ground. His face was swollen and it looked as if he had been assaulted too,” Gaedume said through tears.

She said that Amogelang’s mother immediately recognised her son by the clothes that he was wearing.

“As we went closer to the body to see the face, the mother of the child already broke down. She recognised him by the black All-Star sneakers he was wearing and the blue and white T-shirt. Amogelang also wore blue sweatpants with white stripes on that day.”

Gaedume said that the family had ruled out that Amogelang may have tried to commit suicide.

“The tree which he was found next to was too small and short for anyone to hang themselves from. Also, from the appearance of his face, one could see that there was someone who had hurt him. My grandson did not have a big build and the person who did this must have been older and stronger than him.”

Gaedume said that she had last seen her grandson playing in the street on Wednesday last week.

“Amogelang and two of his friends were playing in the street the whole day. I saw and heard them in the street. I later saw them walking down the street but did not ask where they were going.

“I stay in the big house and Amogelang and his mother, as well as his siblings, stay in the spare rooms at the back of the house. I am not certain what time Amogelang came back. I also did not go to their room to see if he was home the Thursday morning after I woke up.”

She said that the family were now praying for answers.

“I want answers as to what happened to my child and the person who is responsible should be arrested. I have lost a child who was not ill and still full of life the last time I saw him. It is heartbreaking that someone had to end his life in this tragic manner,” she cried.

Police spokesperson, Captain Sergio Kock, said that the police are investigating a case of murder.

“The Pampierstad police are investigating a murder after the discovery of a deceased boy on Thursday, September 6 2018, at about 9.30am.

“A passer-by alerted the police about a body behind the Pampierstad Cemetery. The deceased is 16 years old and no one has been arrested yet.

“Anyone with information about the incident or the suspect must please call Detective Sergeant Lebogang Tobolo on 073 763 2015. The investigation continues,” said Kock.

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