Murdered: Teen’s fatal shortcut through cemetery

2011-08-01 00:00

A DECISION to use a shortcut through Mountain Rise cemetery against the advice of her mother, may have resulted in the murder and possible rape of a 14-year-old girl.

The semi-naked body of Babongile Xaba, a grade five pupil at Mthemthomusha School in Dambuza, was found by two boys, who were also taking a shortcut through the cemetery on Saturday, three days after she was reported missing.

Babongile had been on her way to visit her mother in Woodlands on Tuesday, but never arrived.

Although there were no visible injuries on her body, police believe that she was strangled and possibly raped. The postmortem will confirm the exact cause of her death. Her distraught mother, Nonzuzo Makhaba, said her family are devastated by the news of her daughter’s murder. She said Babongile lived with her sister and brother in Dambuza and was supposed to come to her home on Tuesday. She said she learned late on Tuesday afternoon that she was missing. “She was supposed to come to me to collect her school tie because she said at school they were being punished for not having their full school uniform.

“At about 5 pm on Tuesday she had not arrived and because I know it takes less than an hour to get to Woodlands, I called her brother to ask whether she had not left Dambuza yet.”

Makhaba said they told her she had left about 4 pm. “That is when I lost my mind with worry, I went down and waited at the shopping centre there, hoping that I would be able to see her, but she did not arrive.”

A case of a missing person was opened with the police the same evening. She said they learned on Saturday that her body had been discovered at the cemetery.

“I had told her on numerous occasions that I do not like it when she walks through the cemetery because that area just has a darkness about it, but she always said she liked going through that area because it was a quick shortcut to where I live.” Police spokesperson Lieutenant Joey Jeevan said anyone who might have information regarding the murder should contact the investigating officer Constable Skhumbuzo Ngcobo from the Mountain Rise Detective Services on 033 38 79600 or on 072 470 3938.

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