Friend realises 'rubbish' he helped dump was dead landlord

2017-01-27 11:32
Forensic teams busy removing the body. (Simvuyele Mageza, Netwerk24)

Forensic teams busy removing the body. (Simvuyele Mageza, Netwerk24)

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Pretoria - A man who thought what he'd helped his friend dump was rubbish put two and two together and called the police when he found out the friend's landlord had disappeared.

On Thursday morning, police found the body of Chelly Lekalakala, 61, in a shallow grave in the bushes in Hammanskraal, north of Pretoria, Netwerk24 reported.

Lekalakala's wife and their tenant are suspected of killing him.  

Ephraim Motaung, Lekalakala's neighbour, says the last time he saw him was on December 30 last year.

It is believed that he died the following day. Motaung said Lekalakala had suspected his wife of having an affair with the tenant. 

When he confronted them, he was beaten.

'Rubbish buried on New Year's Day'

Gauteng police spokesperson Captain Kay Makhubela said a friend of the tenant's informed police on Wednesday evening that he possibly knew where Lekalakala was.  

"The lover asked him on December 31 to help him and his friend, Lekalakala's wife, dump some rubbish. They had planned to dump it in a river somewhere, but the bushes were too dense and they left the zinc bath with the 'rubbish' in there. 

"He thought nothing of it and on New Year's Day, they buried the 'rubbish'."  

However, when Lekalakala's relatives came looking for him on January 16 and his wife said she didn't know where he was, Motaung started wondering if it had really been rubbish that they had thrown away, said Makhubela. And if it was rubbish, he wondered why they had buried it. 

He led police to the shallow grave and they started digging on Wednesday night and continued on Thursday morning. 

'She was like my own child' 

Lekalakala's 80-year-old mother Elsie sat under a tree while the forensic team went about its business.

"I don't know how to feel anymore. I have to bury one of my children every year. I just can't carry on," she said.

She is distraught about the allegations against her daughter-in-law.

"She was [like my] own child to me. We enjoyed each other's company and chatted often." 

A sample of her blood will be taken for a DNA test to determine if the body in the grave is her son's. 

Lekalakala's wife and her lover were arrested on January 19.

The investigation continues.

Read more on:    pretoria  |  crime

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