Police Minister, Bheki Cele, comforts Sadia Sukhraj's father, Pastor Shalendra Sukhraj. Picture Africa News Agency.

DURBAN - POLICE Minister Bheki Cele will return to the Chatsworth community to give responses, two weeks after the death of 9-year-old Sadia Sukhraj who was killed in a vehicle theft incident.

Sadia’s murder was initially reported as a “botched hijacking” however it has since emerged that the incident was infact that of theft of a vehicle and kidnapping, not hijacking, as had been reported widely in the media. 

This emerged in the Durban Magistrates Court when one of the men allegedly involved in the criminal acts, Sibonelo Mkhize, appeared before the court. He has been charged with theft, kidnapping and murder.

Cele visited the Sukhraj family in the week of Sadia’s death. 

Later, he also addressed members of the public at the Nelson Mandela Youth Centre in Chatsworth.

At the time of his visit, he promised the community he would return with responses to the burning issues related to crime and police visibility in the area.

Also read: WATCH: #SadiaSukhraj suspects are 'hardcore' hijackers - Bheki Cele

In a statement from SAPS, Cele said he would return to the Youth Centre on Friday at 11am to provide his response to the questions escalated to him.

Read stories relating to Sadia Sukhraj here

Sibonelo Mkhize, among the trio of suspects, who is set to appear at the Durban Magistrates Court soon was charged with theft, kidnapping and two counts of murder.

On the morning of May 28, 9-year-old Sadia had been on her way to school when her father left her in the vehicle to leave her younger brother with her grandparents in Shallcross.

It was at this moment, three men approached the vehicle and drove away with Sadia inside.

Sadia’s father, Pastor Shalendra Sukhraj, and an off-duty policeman Warrant Officer Hemant Raghoonundan, gave chase and fired shots.

The suspects fled, leaving the car with little Sadia behind. The Grade 4 pupil died on the way to hospital with a gunshot wound to her stomach.

Police are still determining who could have shot the child, but the Independent Police Investigative Directorate confirmed that Raghoonundan’s firearm had been cleared of firing the fatal bullet.

Ultimately one suspect was killed by an angry mob at the scene, while two fled, and Mkhize was arrested.

During his visit, Cele told media that all three suspects had been known to police, and arrests of the third suspect was imminent.

Also read: WATCH: #SadiaSukhraj suspects are 'hardcore' hijackers - Bheki Cele

SUNDAY TRIBUNE