Case ‘going in circles’ four years after brutal murder of Athandiwe

2019-03-04 17:09
A happy Athandiwe Dumakude (5) before she was abducted from outside her primary school and killed four years ago.PHOTOS: nqobile dumakude

A happy Athandiwe Dumakude (5) before she was abducted from outside her primary school and killed four years ago.PHOTOS: nqobile dumakude

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It has been four years since little Athandiwe Dumakude (5) disappeared from outside her Pietermaritzburg primary school and her body was found a few hours later.

Athandiwe had been raped and stabbed in the neck before her attacker left her naked body, with her wrists and ankles bound, on the side of a dirt road in a secluded forest near Woodlands off the Otto’s Bluff Road.

But since then little progress has been made in finding the man behind the brutal attack and her mother says she feels police have given up on her little girl.

Athandiwe, who would now have been nine years old, was found at around 5 pm on February 23, in 2015 by three women walking along the dirt road.

One of them covered her body with a black plastic bag, while the other women spotted Athandiwe’s bag and school clothes dumped next to her.

The women called police and the number written on the school bag and got hold of Athandiwe’s mother, Nqobile, who sent her brother down to the scene to fetch her daughter, not realising that Athandiwe had been killed.

Athandiwe arrived at school on February 23, 2015 at around 7.30 am.

Berg Street Primary School principal at the time, Reshma Amritlal told The Witness the grade R pupils had been let out of school at about 12.50 pm.

Athandiwe was supposed to be fetched by her lift club, however, the driver of the lift club vehicle told police that when he arrived to pick her up she was nowhere to be seen.

Speaking to The Witness around the anniversary of Athandiwe’s tragic death, the little girl’s mother said she feels “police gave up on her [Athandiwe] long ago”.

“The last I heard from police was in 2017. They were busy with the case but everything seemed to be going in circles with no outcome,” said an emotional Dumakude.

“These four years have been so hard for me. I am okay when I am at work because I hide behind it and put all my energy into it but when it’s school holidays and I am sitting at home it hits me.

“It has been so difficult to heal, I just want to know what happened to my daughter and where the man who killed her is.

“I feel like I am doing nothing, I don’t know what I can do. I also feel like my daughter does not matter to police.

“I have read about murders that have been solved in days but it has been four years since her death and nothing has come from investigations.”

Dumakude said her son, who was two years old at the time of his sister’s death is now six — a year older than Athandiwe when she was killed.

“He started school this year but I am so scared to leave him alone. If I don’t know where he is, I start panicking and all I can think about is the day Athandiwe was found. It is like I relive that day all over again.

“I just want this pain to go away. I do not wish this on anyone, not even my worst enemy.

“I want police to move on with their investigations and find the man. I don’t want him hurting anyone else because he probably thinks he got away with it and will continue his ways until he is caught.”

Mountain Rise police spokesperson Captain Gay Ebrahim gave an assurance that the investigation is ongoing and said police are working actively on the case.

Read more on:    athandiwe murder  |  pietermaritzburg  |  child murder
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