Mystery of KZN sailor’s death

2011-10-22 00:00

HOW did Halalishani Mtshali (21) of Richards Bay die, his hacked body found as a mere torso, in Trinidad and Tobago in the West Indies?

Mtshali, who was on a 10-month working holiday aboard a luxury yacht owned by Englishman Roy Bashforth, was reported to have fallen off a pier to his death.

The condition of his remains is the subject of an investigation and his family is reported saying that time is running out to raise the R60 000 needed to bring the badly decomposing corpse home.

His head and hands were missing.

Mtshali’s sister-in-law, Nonhlanhla, said they found his death very sinister and have asked the Department of International Relations and Co-operation (Dirco) to intervene on their behalf.

Before undertaking the trip Mtshali worked at the Zululand Yacht Club in Richards Bay where he helped Bashforth, a regular visitor to SA.

Club controller Jan Smit said he used to work with Mtshali on Bashforth’s boat while it was docked at the club.

He said that in about 2009 the two became friends, to the point that the youngster would be called “Roy’s son”.

“Roy invited the young man to be part of his crew about two years ago. They left for Brazil and in July this year they left for Trinidad and Tobago. What would have happened eventually is that Roy would have bought a flight ticket for Halalishani to fly back home. [Roy] … was in his 70s and he also had a bit of a problem with his hands.

“News of Halalishani’s death came as a shock for all those who knew the young man,” said Smit.

He said the water in Trinidad and Tobago is not clear and has strong currents. “Still, the area is a favourite destination for yachtsmen,” he said.

Mtshali’s friend, Sfiso Luthuli, reportedly said that on September 29, a day after he had spoken to his friend, he was informed by an unknown caller that Mtshali was sick.

When the caller phoned again Bashforth came on the line and said Mtshali had fallen off a pier and died.

In August last year the decapitated bodies of a woman and a boy were discovered at a Forres Park landfill in Claxton Bay, not far from where Mtshali’s remains were found.

Investigators believe they may have been a mother and her son. The heads of the unidentified victims were never found.

Reports of cult killings and voodoo-related murders are reportedly not uncommon in Trinidad and Tobago.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.