Seven time sorrow

2018-11-02 15:03
Gogo Thoko Khoza has been inconsolable since she found out that her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren were brutally murdered by a man they considered to be their kin.

Gogo Thoko Khoza has been inconsolable since she found out that her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren were brutally murdered by a man they considered to be their kin. (Nokuthula Ntuli)

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Gogo Thoko Khoza (70) of KwaCaluza in Pietermaritzburg has been inconsolable since she learned about the gruesome death of her two daughters and five grandchildren, who were found buried inside a house in Vlakfontein, Johannesburg, earlier this week.

On Thursday Khoza told mourners who visited her — including councillor Nelisiwe Ndlovu and Msunduzi Mayor Themba Njilo — that she knew something was wrong when she couldn’t get hold of either of her daughters on the phone last week.

The decomposing bodies of Khoza’s daughters, Mbali and Dudu, were found buried under a pile of sand in their Vlakfontein home earlier this week.

Dudu’s three children — Nomfundo, Luyanda and Sibongakonke — and Nomfundo’s children Karabo (11) and Nkanyiso (2), were also found in shallow graves in the house.

It appears that Mbali and Dudu were killed sometime last week, followed by the children, with Nomfundo likely to have been the last to have been killed on Saturday or Sunday.

Police have one man in custody, but the prime suspect in the murders is a man Gogo Khoza’s family had taken in as one of their own, Sibusiso Khoza. The gathered family members said on Thursday they never thought that he would turn out to be the man police are now looking for.


Mbali and Dudu Khoza

Gogo Khoza stared blankly at their neatly folded clothes next to her every time she mentioned them.

“I will never be able [to] find peace without my children and grandchildren but I’m begging the police to find those who did this …

“Mbali did everything to support her family but she didn’t know that the boy who claimed to be a Khoza was also a snake.”


From left: Nomfundo with Karabo and Luyanda Khoza. Nkanyiso and Sibongakonke Khoza.

Khoza said she last spoke to Nomfundo, who was a primary school teacher, on Saturday and she also called Sibusiso to find out when he had last seen her daughters as she had been unable to get hold of them.

“He said they were sleeping but he knew that they were already in a grave,” she said tearfully.

The police are searching for Sibusiso Khoza, who was welcomed into the Khoza family in 2015 when he introduced himself as a long-lost child of Gogo’s late son, Mandla.

Sibuso Earnest Khoza is the suspect.

Sibusiso Earnest Khoza is the prime suspect in the murders. 

Mbali and Dudu reportedly took him under their wing after hearing his story about how he had supposedly grown up in a Cape Town children’s home after his mother died.

The pair went as far as ensuring that he obtained an identity document with the Khoza surname and they bought him clothes. He moved in with them at the Vlakfontein home earlier this year and was financially dependent on Mbali, who was a Spar manager, and Dudu.

Mandla’s daughter, Jabu Khoza, said: “Mbali and Dudu are my cousins but they were more my sisters because I never had any siblings. I could go to them with any problem and they would help me because they always wanted to make sure that I was okay.

“They opened their hearts to Sibusiso because they believed that he was family and they always took care of anyone that was family.”

She said she had never met Sibusiso as he rarely visited KwaCaluza.

Another family member, Sinenhlanhla Khoza — who regulary interacted with Sibusiso after he had promised to help her find a job — said she suspected that she had narrowly escaped being lured to her grave.

“He kept calling me asking when I would be coming to Vlakfontein and then he told me he had arranged a job interview so I must come. I was meant to go there this week,” she said.

She described him as a master con artist who had convinced the family that he had a medical degree and they all supported him while he was unemployed until he claimed to have found a job as a general practitioner at Johannesburg’s Charlotte Maxeke Hospital.

“At this point I’m not sure if he was even a real doctor or that he was working there … We are pleading with him to hand himself to the police and tell them the truth about what happened. It’s the least he could do for the family that he claimed to love,” said Sinenhlanhla.

The Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal provincial governments have committed to assist with the funeral arrangements so that the Khozas can be buried on Sunday.

Mayor Njilo told the family that the bodies would be arriving in Pietermaritzburg from Johannesburg on Saturday but they would be kept at the state morgue instead of going to KwaCaluza overnight as would be the tradition.

“They are in a bad condition because they were already decomposing when they were discovered so they can’t spend a night here,” he said.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  murder

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