She hoped her ‘vibrant’ girl would be alive and return. Neither ...

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She hoped her ‘vibrant’ girl would be alive and return. Neither happened

A two-week-long search for her missing daughter ended in heartbreak for a KZN mother

Orrin Singh and Lwandile Bhengu


Jozini mother Velile Duma’s voice was flat, evident of a woman who had lost faith in humanity. For two weeks, she had lived on faith and hope that her daughter, who had gone missing, would turn up. Her hopes were crushed when the eight-year-old girl’s badly decomposed body was found discarded in a dense thicket behind a municipal building in Mkhuze, northern KwaZulu-Natal. The only identifiable link to her “vibrant” child was the pink dress she was last seen wearing before she went missing on March 3 2019.
Speaking to Times Select on Monday, Duma said she could not accept the fact that her precious, innocent child was gone.
When police arrested a man last week, his evidence confirmed Yoliswa had died.
“When the police came to inform me about her death, I was devastated, and even then I still had hope that we would find her alive. She was a vibrant child who liked playing with other kids and loved people.”
Duma added that to make matters worse, the man facing a charge of murder was known to them. “We know the man. He was someone who used to come to the area and would sometimes play with the kids. I want the justice system to be hard on him because what he did was horrible.”
Police confirmed a 31-year-old suspect had been arrested in connection with Yoliswa’s murder after another alleged incident involving a 10-year-old girl in the area on Thursday. “Community members heard the child crying, and went to investigate in the bushes. The suspect ran away after he noticed the community members. The child told the community what had happened to her, and the suspect was apprehended. During the commotion he attempted to poke out the eyes of a woman who was trying to detain him,” said police spokesperson Lieutenant-Colonel Thulani Zwane. Zwane said when police questioned him about whether he knew anything regarding Yoliswa’s disappearance, he allegedly led police to the area where he had dumped her body after killing her.
The man appeared in the Ubombo Magistrate’s Court on Friday, facing two counts of assault and one count of attempted rape. He faced a further charge of being in the country illegally after he failed to produce proper documentation.
Police on Monday revealed the man would appear on a separate charge of murder on Tuesday. Until then Yoliswa’s mother says she been left in the dark, with many questions surrounding her daughter’s brutal murder. “We don’t know when the funeral will be because we are waiting for the [postmortem] results,” she said. For now, Velile hangs on to her memories of her little “vibrant” child, and waits for justice to be served to the man who robbed her daughter of a future.

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