A 15-year-old boy appeared in the Blue Downs Magistrates' Court again on Thursday on charges of the kidnapping, robbery and murder of SA National Defence Force (SANDF) soldier Michael Njomane.
As Njomane's family grieved, with a private memorial service to honour his life scheduled, the family of the arrested boy are also feeling traumatised.
"We are not coping," said his mother, who may not be named in terms of laws which prevent the identification of a minor in a criminal case.
"We don't know how this could have happened," she said.
Njomane's body was found in the boot of a burnt-out government vehicle in Blue Downs on August 18.
The fire brigade had put the fire out, and his body was then discovered in the boot.
Njomane hails from the Idutywa region of the Eastern Cape, and had been in the military since 1994.
He was married and had four dependants.
Two other suspects
He was transferred to the Western Cape two months ago.
The accused's aunt and girlfriend were also present at court. They sat with their shoulders bunched up and arms tightly folded.
The teen is also the father of a baby, and he had not been attending school, according to his family.
Asked why he had dropped out, they shook their heads, with sadness etched on his mother's face.
The court was cleared for his appearance in camera (behind closed doors), but there were two other names on the roll for that case - Theodore Loggenberg, who has made a previous appearance.
The Western Cape police were asked about the arrest of a third suspect, but did not immediately provide information.
News24 understands that he made an appearance in the court on Wednesday, while the youth was appearing down the hall in a different court after his arrest on Tuesday.
On Thursday, the case was postponed to September 5.
Njomane's funeral is expected to be held on Saturday.
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