Community in shock as girl (6) found murdered in bush

2014-06-26 00:00

A SIX-YEAR-OLD girl, the granddaughter of a member of the provincial legislature, was found murdered near her home in Pietermaritzburg on Tuesday night.

Yoliswa Ludidi, a Grade 1 pupil at ­Sigodini Primary School and the granddaughter of Zanele Ludidi, chairperson of the Conservation and Environmental ­Affairs portfolio committee, was last seen going to relieve herself in a bush next to her aunt’s home in Smero.

The family became alarmed when she failed to return home as night fell, and a search was launched.

The police were also called.

Yoliswa’s shoes were found first, and then her body. She had been struck across the head by what is suspected to be a knobkierrie.

The incident has shocked the family and the community, Ludidi said.

“We are a community where we take care of each other. That the child could have been killed, apparently by a person known to us, has shocked the community,” she said.

Ludidi said Yoliswa’s mother, Ningi, was not home when the child arrived home. She then decided to visit her aunt Lindiwe, where a man known to the family was also visiting.

“She asked to use the toilet. She was told to use the bush as the house is being built and they don’t have a toilet. She was accompanied by the man to the bush next to the house. That was the last time anyone saw her alive,” said Ludidi.

Lindiwe went to the shop and noticed on her return that neither the child nor the man were anywhere to be found. They subsequently started searching for the man and the child.

Resident Bongiwe Gumede said they panicked as it was getting darker and there was no sign of Yoliswa. “We called the police while we were searching in the area and we found her shoes in the bush.”

Members of search and rescue unit arrived and found Yoliswa’s body with an open wound on the head and face. She was fully dressed. “It looked like a knob­kierie was used,” said a source.

Ningi Ludidi said Yoliswa was the youngest of five children. “She was a bright child who was doing well at school. She was a child that liked to always be clean and on time at school,” she said.

Police spokesperson Captain Thulani Zwane said the motive for the murder is unknown and no arrest has been made.

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