Murdered Hout Bay boy was found face down in reed bed, pathologist tells court

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Sibusiso Dakuse.
Sibusiso Dakuse.
  • It was a harrowing first day of testimony in the trial of the man accused of kidnapping, raping, and murdering promising young Hout Bay pupil Sibusiso Dakuse. 
  • Basketball coach Marvin Minnaar pleaded not guilty and invoked his right to silence. 
  • On Tuesday, the Western Cape High Court heard Sibusiso was strangled to death based on the abrasions found around his neck.

The first witness was called in the trial of the Hout Bay basketball coach accused of the kidnap, murder, and rape of 12-year-old schoolboy Sibusiso Dakuse.

His family had to endure harrowing testimony in the Western Cape High Court detailing how the boy was found in reeds with pieces of stool-encrusted toilet paper scattered around his body. 

Instead of roaming the streets or sitting inside playing computer games, Sibusiso had a busy schedule of extracurricular activities. 

He attended Sentinel Primary School in Hout Bay and took after-school music lessons at the Hout Bay Music Project and Kronendal Music Academy.

However, he disappeared on 26 February 2020, and his small body, weighing only 33kg, was found lifeless in a clearing in the reeds near Manchester Road. 

READ | 'These are not pets': Man gives away his two pit bulls after news of child mauled to death

Basketball coach Marvin Minnaar was arrested and charged with kidnap, rape and murder. He pleaded not guilty when the trial started on Monday and invoked his right to silence.

The court heard Sibusiso was found in a clearing in the reeds and the duty pathologist, Dr Bronwyn Inglis, walked through a path made in the reeds, then turned left to go further in to examine him.

"He was found face down on his stomach with his arms slightly underneath his body," testified Inglis. 

She said the area was a flattened section within the reeds, and she found his clothes and the toilet paper scattered around his body. The toilet paper was bagged and taken for DNA testing on the stool fragments found on them.

She put envelopes over his lifeless hands so she could examine his nails for DNA and collected evidence of sexual assault.  

He was naked, and although his back was warm from the sun beating down on him, his legs were cold. His body was already showing signs of decomposition, with his eyes and his tongue swelling. 

READ | Murdered Cape Town boy, 12, to be laid to rest in Eastern Cape

Judge Constance Nziweni heard Sibusiso was strangled to death - not by a piece of wire or a belt – but most likely with a scarf wound around his neck twice, judging by the criss-cross pattern on his neck. 

Inglis turned the pages in her bundle of photographs taken during his post-mortem carefully, making sure Sibusiso's family would not have to see the state he was found in all over again.

Due to the two-day taxi strike in the Western Cape, the case ended early on Tuesday to give staff time to get home safely.

The trial continues on Wednesday.

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