Beheaded teen's family wants closure
Leg beads and clothes that Nomvelo Nkosi wore are all her family found to identify a beheaded body that was found in Nongoma, KwaZulu-Natal.
The family of the grade 7 pupil, whose tongue and arms are still missing, is waiting for an autopsy report so that they can bury her.
Nomvelo, 15, left her home in the village of KwaMinya in Nongoma during the Easter holidays to visit relatives in another village.
"We did not suspect anything amiss because she always visits her uncles during school holidays. We only got worried after a few days when one of her cousins tried to call her and her phone was constantly on voicemail," family spokesperson Lungani Duma told Sowetan.
Duma said their worries degenerated into a panic after they contacted relatives to ask about her whereabouts and they said they had not seen her.
"We then began the frantic search, together with other villagers but we couldn't locate her.
"We also notified the local police to assist us with the search. After a few days of unsuccessful searches, we received a call from her school, informing us that a body had been discovered by school children on the morning of April 22," said Duma.
He said the family rushed to the scene and made the gruesome discovery in the bushes. "She was covered with leaves, her arms and tongue are missing while her head was chopped off [and left next to the body].
Her family believes her body parts were removed for muthi purposes which is prevalent in the northern KwaZulu-Natal region.
To add salt to injury, the people responsible for the heinous crime have not been found.
"Last month, police arrested people who they said were suspects. They were later released due to lack of evidence. We are just worried that the investigation is going at a slow pace and the family wants closure," said Duma.
KwaZulu-Natal police spokesperson Maj Thulani Zwane confirmed that they were investigating the murder case and that the initial suspects were released as they couldn't be linked to the crime.
National co-ordinator of the Traditional Healers Organisation Phepsile Maseko said muthi killings had nothing to do with traditional medicine.