Missing Tsomo woman and teenage granddaughters found murdered
An elderly Eastern Cape woman and her two granddaughters who were reported missing in Tsomo earlier this month have been found murdered, said provincial police.
Capt Namhla Mdleleni said the bodies of the 71-year-old woman and the two girls, aged 16 and 17, were found on Saturday.
“Their bodies were found by a shepherd floating in the river near Mhlahlane,” said Mdleleni. “They were found tied with chains,” she added.
Police divers were called in to recover the three corpses.
The three were believed to have been abducted between Sunday, December 1 and the early hours of Monday, December 2.
The two teenage girls had lived with their grandmother and had a 19-year-old sister who lived apart from them.
The 19-year-old girl had previously shed light into the life the girls had lived with their grandmother.
“[She] suggested that the two missing sisters were being raped over time by their uncle,” Mdleleni said in a statement when the three were first reported missing.
The elder sister claimed that she too had been raped by the uncle. One of her younger sisters had subsequently fallen pregnant, leading to her reporting the rape to police.
“On the day the family went missing, the police had earlier visited the family as part of the investigation after rape allegations were reported,” said Mdleleni.
“It is alleged that after the police left, the uncle arrived and began questioning the family on what the police were looking for. That was the last time both the family and the uncle were seen.”
The uncle was later found and arrested by police and charged with kidnapping.
After the discovery of the bodies, charges of murder were added.