- The husband of an Eastern Cape HIV/Aids caregiver has appeared in court for her murder, two years after he reported her missing.
- The health worker's decapitated body was found buried underneath the couple's bathtub in their Dutywa home on Monday.
- The body was exhumed after police received information from a family member.
An Eastern Cape man who reported his wife missing more than two years ago, appeared briefly in the Butterworth Magistrate's Court on Wednesday, after her body was found buried underneath their bathtub.
The decapitated remains of Noluvuyo Ndema-Nonkwelo, 36, who worked as an HIV/Aids caregiver at the Dutywa Health Care Centre, was found on Monday, more than two years after her husband reported her missing in July 2019.The victim's husband, Yibanathi MacGyver Ndema, 43, was arrested on Monday after the discovery was made at their Dutywa home.
He is facing charges of premeditated murder and defeating the ends of justice.
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The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) said that Ndema allegedly killed Nonkwelo-Ndema at their home in the Zingqayi area in the district of Butterworth on 1 July 2019.
Two days later, on 3 July 2019, he reported his wife missing at the police.
The NPA said Ndema opted for a Legal Aid attorney and indicated that he would be applying for bail.
Prosecutor Masixole Mamve asked that the matter be postponed for a formal bail application and further investigations.
The State is opposing bail and the case was postponed to 10 September.
Ndema is in custody.
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Eastern Cape police spokesperson Captain Siphokazi Mawisa said the discovery of Nonkwelo-Ndema's body was made after the police were alerted by a suspicious family member, who noticed that the bathtub was no longer mounted to the surface.
"Upon investigation police proceeded to their home and found her remains under the bath tub in their house at Zingqayi Location, Butterworth on Monday. The alleged suspect who is the husband to the deceased was immediately arrested and charged with murder," Mawisa said.
The acting district police commissioner Brigadier Ngangema Xakavu condemned the incident while the provincial health department expressed shock after the discovery.
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Health MEC Nomakhosazana Meth condemned the incident saying it comes at a time when the nation was still reeling following the brutal murder of University of Fort Hare student Nosicelo Mtebeni, whose dismembered body was found dumped on the streets in East London two weeks ago.
Meth said the department had been robbed of a frontline worker who worked tirelessly to ensure thousands of people in the Dutywa area received the best possible healthcare services.
She urged the police to prioritise its investigation.