The secrets of the reeds: How little Sibusiso Dakuse's body was found

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The trial of the man charged with the murder of 12-year-old singer Sibusiso Dakuse continues in the Western Cape High Court.
The trial of the man charged with the murder of 12-year-old singer Sibusiso Dakuse continues in the Western Cape High Court.
Ashraf Hendricks
  • The trial of the man charged with the murder of 12-year-old singer Sibusiso Dakuse continued with testimony on how his body was discovered. 
  • Basketball mentor Marvin Meintjies has pleaded not guilty to all the charges against him, which include rape. 
  • One of the two police officers who found Sibusiso's little body testified on Monday.

The reeds along Manchester Road in Hout Bay, where 12-year-old Sibusiso Dakude was found murdered in February 2020, have different associations for different people, the Western Cape High Court heard on Monday during the trial of the man accused of killing the boy. 

According to Sergeant Izette van der Westhuizen, to some they were part of a peaceful horse-riding path next to a river; to others, it was a place to hide while the heat died down after a robbery. 

Pedestrians also sometimes relieve themselves in there.  

Many paths are beaten into the clattering and swaying reeds, and, according to Van der Westhuizen, if you screamed, you would probably only be heard by somebody standing outside at the nearby complexes. Your cries for help would probably be inaudible to people indoors.

On 28 February, the reeds became the death site for the promising boy who loved singing and sport. 

Testifying in the trial of Marvin Minnaar, Van der Westhuizen, wearing one glittery stiletto and one moon boot, testified all available uniformed police officers fanned out to look for the little boy. 

Sibusiso was last seen on 26 February and was apparently walking to the shop.

READ | Cape Town basketball coach pleads not guilty to murder and rape of 12-year-old boy

She told the court she and her colleague walked along the paths in the reeds, and a tragic trail of discarded clothing, and toilet paper led to her colleague spotting the little boy's body.  

"And I just heard him shout: 'I found him! I found him'!" she said of the sad discovery.

Later, after the scene was handed over to investigating officers, she was told a suspect had been taken in for questioning. 

As this news spread, a large group of residents from Imizamo Yethu, the suburb on the hill where Sibusiso lived, gathered at the Hout Bay police station.

"There were a lot of angry community members that waited at the front of the police station," said Van der Westhuizen. 

"Everybody wanted answers. The station commander had to speak to community leaders."

Minnaar, described as the "basketball coach", was apparently the last person seen with Sibusiso. He was arrested and charged with kidnap, rape, and murder. He has pleaded not guilty to all charges. 

The court heard last week Sibusiso was strangled and raped.

The trial continues on Tuesday.

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