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Anger over Soweto child murders – ‘feed the killers to the sharks’

Anger over Soweto child murders – ‘feed the killers to the sharks’
Nqobile Ndlovu is accused of murdering Nqobizitha Zulu (5) and Tshiamo Rabanye (6) She appeared with co-accused Mthunzi Musawenkosi Zulu at the Protea Magistrate's Court on Friday, 5 May, 2023. Photo:Bheki Simelane

The case against a couple accused of murdering two Soweto children was postponed in the Protea Magistrates’ Court on Friday amid reverberating calls of an eye for an eye.

‘They must be tossed into the deepest river where the sharks can eat them, because if that doesn’t happen the community will eat them. The community will harm them. If that doesn’t happen, I will harm them myself and will be the one going to Sun (City prison in Johannesburg),” the mother of one of the murdered boys, Tshiamo Rabanye, said after the accused appeared in court on Friday.

This was the second court appearance of Nqobile Ndlovu (50) and her partner, Mthunzi Musawenkosi Zulu (39). They are accused of crimes including two murders, perjury, defeating the ends of justice and kidnapping. They allegedly murdered and mutilated Nqobizitha Zulu (5) and Tshiamo Rabanye (6) after kidnapping three boys, one of whom escaped.

The two bodies were found, missing several body parts, on 20 April after they had gone missing from Tshiamo’s home in White City, Soweto, on 19 April. The two boys attended Isisekelo Primary School.

Read more in Daily Maverick: Accused 1, Ndlovu, who had intended to find her own lawyer, is Tshiamo’s grandmother

The pair previously chose to conduct their own defence, but after the serious nature of the charges was explained, both opted for legal aid.

Magistrate Tshepiso Maepa had postponed the case to 5 May for a formal bail application and for Ndlovu to find a lawyer. 

Mother’s grief, community’s rage

Tshiamo Rabanye’s mother, whose name was not established,  said: “It’s as though he will suddenly turn up at the door and say, ‘Mom, I am back from school’.

Residents who were in court said Ndlovu had smiled when they interacted with her in court.

Residents of Soweto, in White City in particular, are enraged by the murders. On Friday morning, proceedings were delayed for a while as dozens of locals tried to force their way into the court after they had been removed earlier because it was full. 

Livid residents chanted outside court, venting their anger mostly at police who they felt were the reason they were prevented from being part of the proceedings inside. 

The father of the child who escaped the murders said he too was shocked that a mother would commit such an act. His son, he said, had been inseparable from Nqobizitha.

“I could tell that there was something that scared him, something which terrified him,”  said the father, whose name could not be established.

The National Prosecuting Authority’s Gauteng NPA spokesperson, Phindi Mjonondwane said: “Accused 2, Zulu, has already acquired legal aid representation and now legal aid is busy processing the application for accused 1. Investigations are not yet complete. The work is ongoing and we are also still waiting for DNA results as part of the investigations.”

She said the State could not rule out the possibility of more arrests.  “Once investigations are complete we will determine whether the case goes to the high court, but that is entirely up to the Director of Public Prosecutions, advocate Andrew Chauke, to decide which forum the case should be heard.”

On whether the children’s missing body parts have been recovered, Mjonondwane said: “As I said, investigations are ongoing and we don’t want to divulge much in terms of the investigation material at our disposal. We do have overwhelming evidence against the suspects.”

“You two better kill yourselves,” said one woman as she left court, after the magistrate had made his ruling. 

The case was postponed to 12 May. DM


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