Spurned lover emotionless in dock‚ charged with double child murder
As police divers fished the body of 10-year-old Njabulo Mankayi from a murky canal near Durban’s Bluff‚ the woman accused of his murder shuffled into the dock at the Durban Magistrate’s court on Monday.
Bongiwe Maliwa‚ 28‚ barefoot and shackled‚ cut a sombre figure in the dock. She stood emotionless as the charges against her were read out.
She and another woman‚ who is yet to appear in court‚ are alleged to have kidnapped Mankayi and his 10-year old best friend‚ Luyanda Msomi‚ on Thursday last week. The pair‚ considered inseparable friends‚ were last seen boarding a bus on their way home to Clairwood.
Msomi’s battered body was later discovered on Saturday in a thicket in the south Durban basin.
Maliwa‚ who will face two charges each of murder‚ kidnapping and assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm‚ was remanded in custody.
The slaying of the boys comes after Maliwa’s love was allegedly spurned by Mankayi’s father.
Outside court‚ Msomi’s father Terrance Msomi said that he was dead inside.
He said that his first-born son shared a close bond with Mankayi‚ and they did everything together. “They would travel together to and from school. The last time that I saw my little boy was on Thursday morning‚ and I was so shaken when he didn’t come home. I knew something was wrong‚” he said.
“[Maliwa] warned this man [Mankayi’s father] that if he left her‚ something bad would happen… I want her to rot in jail for what she did to my little boy‚” he added.
At the canal‚ detectives and police divers huddled around the sodden remains of Mankayi.
His uncle‚ Zweli Mankayi‚ said that his family had been stricken with pain since the grade 3 pupil’s disappearance.
“He was a sweet boy‚ who was always smiling… this is painful‚ but we can’t change it. We have to just accept it‚” he said.
Police spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Thulani Zwane confirmed that bodies of both boys had been recovered.
The second woman‚ who was arrested at the weekend‚ is expected to appear in court on Tuesday.