The body of 11-year-old Lesiba Maphosa who went missing from Extension 44 on the outskirts of Westenburg last week, was found last Thursday in the Blyde Dam near Hoedspruit, nearly 300 km from where he had disappeared.
Lesiba’s disappearance last Wednesday resulted in violent protest action which saw houses set alight and vehicles damaged in Extension 44 over the weekend. Provincial Police Spokesperson Ronel Otto said the boy was reportedly last seen by a friend when allegedly walking off with an unknown man who apparently asked the boy to assist him in buying airtime.
“A search by members of the Police and the local community yielded no results and angry community members started accusing the friend’s family of being involved in the disappearance. Two RDP houses, a tavern and a vehicle were set alight. Police managed to rescue two occupants of the house and no injuries were reported,” Otto reported.
She added that some of the Police officials sustained slight injuries and two Police vehicles were damaged after being pelted with stones. Police are investigating cases of malicious damaged to property, public violence and arson.
At the time of going to print Otto confirmed that Lesiba’s body had been found last Thursday, a day after his disappearance, by people travelling by boat on the Blyde Dam.
“At that time he was unknown and nobody in that area reported a missing person. The investigating team from Westenburg was informed of the body. Police and the family travelled to the Namakgale Hospital on Tuesday and the body was positively identified at the mortuary,” Otto said.
Otto informed that Lesiba had an open wound to his neck and that a post mortem will still be conducted to determine the cause of death. “No arrests were made yet, but we can assure the community that we have an experienced team of investigators on the case. No further unrest was reported at Extension 44 but Police continue to monitor the area,” she said.
Story: RC Myburgh