Buried body unearthed in Louisiana: ‘Fake inyanga deserves to die like a dog,’ shouts angry community

The forensic pathology service vehicle leaving the scene after recovering the remains believed to be those of little Sphumelelo. 2159SN

THE hopes of three-year-old Sphumelelo Ncama’s family now depend on DNA analysis to positively establish if the body belongs to the little boy from Louisiana.

Yesterday (Wednesday) the arrested traditional healer (inyanga) finally led police to where he had buried the little boy’s body. With a strong police presence, hundreds of community residents gathered just metres from Louisiana Primary school in shock.

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Shortly after midday, the accused, Simbongile Madikezela (22) of Bizana, led police to a sugar cane farm in Louisiana where what is believed to be the decomposed remains of the missing child were found.

A shoe found at the scene was identified by the child’s father as having been worn by the child at the time he went missing.

Sphumelelo’s grandmother, Makhosazane Ncama (45) of Louisiana, in tears just metres from where his body was found.

Police spokesman, Captain Vincent Pandarum said the scene is close to a pathway used by the public, including pupils from a nearby school, to reach the residential area further above.

The skeletal remains were removed to the Port Shepstone State Mortuary, where tissue samples will be obtained and forwarded to the forensic laboratory for DNA analysis to positively establish if indeed it belongs to the missing toddler,” said Captain Pandarum.

The charges that the accused faces are kidnapping and murder. He was denied bail at his court appearance on Tuesday and the case was postponed. He remains in police custody.

The case is being investigated by Detective Constable Sifiso Gigaba of the Port Shepstone Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences unit (FCS).

Angry community

At the scene, angry community members said: “This fake inyanga deserves to die like a dog. What he did was inhumane. How many people has he killed before?” they asked.

One resident said: “He made a fool of us. We used to pass here every day not knowing our little Sphumelelo’s body was lying dead just underneath us,” she said.

Angry community members watch as the mortuary vehicle leaves the scene.

Some were demanding that the police release the suspect so they could teach him a lesson, while others blamed the police for what they called ‘protecting’ the suspect from them.

On Tuesday this week the community of Louisiana went on the rampage and assaulted two women who are believed to have been seen with the inyanga.

Officers of the Port Shepstone Tactical Response Team (TRT) as well as the Public Order Police (POP) responded and rescued the two women from the vigilantes.

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A police vehicle was damaged when the crowd began hurling stones at the vehicles. Police managed to get the situation under control and calmed the crowd. The women were removed from the area for their own safety and were not arrested.

This is one of many cases that occurred during Child Protection Month.

Sphumelelo had been playing outside his home with other children near Nkomo’s Tuckshop in Louisiana when he went missing on May 26, wearing lime green checked shorts, lime green T-shirt, a brown and red striped jacket and blue shoes.

Strong police presence protects the site from angry community members at the scene.

The acting Ugu Cluster commander, Brigadier Bongani Sibiya, called on the community not to take the law into their own hands but to allow the law to take its course. “A suspect has been arrested in this case. Our priority is to find the missing child. The public is warned that it is a crime to resort to vigilantism or mob violence,” he said.

The case against the traditional healer has been postponed to July 13 for further investigation.


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Sugan Naidoo

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