Teens accused of girl’s rape, murder released
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Johannesburg - Two teenage boys accused of raping and murdering 14-year-old Thandeka Madonsela have been released into their parents’ custody.
Thandeka was raped, mutilated and murdered and her body was found on Saturday morning in the veld in Naturena, south-west of Joburg.
The two boys, aged 16 and 17, were arrested after police tracked down one of them, who led them to the second suspect.
They appeared in court on Tuesday, where they were released into their parents’ custody, and the case was postponed for further investigation. The date for their next court appearance is yet to be set.
The incident comes two months after the murder of Western Cape teen Anene Booysen. She was also disembowelled.
Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane yesterday condemned what happened to Thandeka.
“We would like to send our sincere condolences to the family of Thandeka. We condemn her killing in the strongest possible terms.
No one deserves to be raped, mutilated, and murdered; more so when we are commemorating Human Rights month.”
She said human rights meant respecting women and children.
When The Star visited Thandeka’s home, her picture was carefully propped against the wall, a candle burning next to it.
On a mattress below the wall sat her grief-stricken grandmother, trying to make sense of events leading to the 14-year-old’s death.
The Grade 8 pupil from Rand Girls High in Parktown was raped, disembowelled and murdered.
Thandeka’s body was discovered in the veld less than a kilometre from her grandmother’s Naturena home.
“I received a call while I was away that something bad had happened to Thandeka. I thought she was just injured. I was shocked when I found out that she had left us, especially in such a callous manner,” said Gladys Madonsela, who rushed back to Joburg immediately after being informed of her granddaughter’s death.
She had left Thandeka in the care of a neighbour when she left for a funeral in Newcastle a few days earlier, and that was the last time she saw the girl alive.
Her neighbour, Mbali Meyiwa, was woken by other neighbours early on Saturday, informing her of the grisly discovery.
“I was in total shock and disbelief. I explained to them thatI had left her at her house the previous night and that she had been okay. I was in denial,” said the woman.
She last saw Thandeka around 10pm on Friday when the teen told her she would prefer to sleep at her grandmother’s house, not hers, as she was homesick.
“At around 10pm Thandeka pleaded to spend the night at her home, and I allowed her. I made sure she got into the house and locked the doors. This was the last time I saw Thandeka alive,” Meyiwa said, her eyes welling up with tears.
It is not known when Thandeka left her grandmother’s house, but one of the arrested boys allegedly said he had called the girl to come out of the house at about 2am.
Equally shocked was Lerato Bitsi, a close family friend, who said she had been too horrified to look at Thandeka’s lifeless body upon arrival at the scene.
“I could not believe how she was killed. Not even a dog deserves to die in that manner.