Child witness killed, body dumped in veld
Two days after 15-year-old Thabang Tshilwane appeared as a witness in the trial of a gang of house-breakers, his body was found dumped in the veld behind an Ekurhuleni school.
"Two of the gang members who threatened other witnesses at the court were given bail," said an unidentified relative of the murdered boy.
Captain Enock Dube, of the KwaThema police, said Tshilwane's body was discovered by members of the community near Tlakula High School on Saturday.
Both his arms were broken and shoelaces had been used to fasten two plastic bags over his face.
"It looks like the shoelaces were also used to strangle him," Dube said.
Yesterday his distraught family said Tshilwane went missing on Friday afternoon after spending the better part of the day locked in a room playing CDs and watching television.
His grandfather, Snowy Tshilwane, said Tshilwane was described by his teachers at Reshogofaditswe High School in Brakpan as a bright pupil.
His aunt, Sheila Tshilwane, who was the first to see Tshilwane's body, said it was evident that his killers had "really planned to murder him".
"When I arrived on the scene and opened the blanket covering his small body, I was repulsed by what I saw," she said.
"The plastic bags that covered his face were obviously used to suffocate him, and the shoelaces were used to strangle him in case the plastic bags failed to snuff out his life. Both his arms were broken."
"Tshilwane must have died a cruel death at the hands of his murderers," Sheila Tshilwane said.
Tshilwane's grieving mother, Ntswaki Tshilwane, 32, described her son as polite, obedient and loving.
"I will always cherish the good times we shared together.
"His death has robbed me of someone special."