Mom of slain teen pleads - 'We're being slaughtered, stop it'

Nandi Sibeko, the mother of Siphiwe Sibeko, the 14-year-old girl who went missing and was found killed in Emndeni, Soweto.
Nandi Sibeko, the mother of Siphiwe Sibeko, the 14-year-old girl who went missing and was found killed in Emndeni, Soweto.
Image: Veli Nhlapo

The mother of a 14-year-old girl who was found mutilated and raped in Soweto says she could not recognise her child due to the injuries that were inflicted on her body.

Nandi Sibeko could not contain herself when she described the state in which her daughter was discovered after she went missing in Dobsonville on Thursday while on her way to a spaza shop in her area.

Siphiwe Sibeko's body was found dumped at a stream in the neighbouring township of Mndeni on Friday.

"The only thing that we could recognise her with was her clothes - pink takkies and grey trackpants. But we could not recognise her because they injured her badly."

Sibeko said the family went to the scene where Siphiwe's body was found and saw the amount of blood her daughter lost.

"It was everywhere, it was even on the trees - we don't know what kind of human being would do something like this," Sibeko said.

She described the grade 9 pupil as a bright spark who wanted to study chemical
engineering after she matriculated.

"My daughter was smart, she was a head girl at her primary school and a finalist during interviews at Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls.

"She was intelligent and reserved, I don't understand why someone would have done something like this to her."

The 40-year-old mother said the family grew worried when Siphiwe failed to return to their Dobsonville home.

"When she left the house she asked her grandmother whether she wanted any snacks because she was going to the tuckshop. We grew worried when it became late and she had not returned," she said.

"On Friday morning we went to her friend's house in Mndeni to find out if she was there but did not find her because she is not the type that does not come back home and doesn't like going out much and only has one friend."

Sibeko said a police officer fetched them on Saturday morning and took them to a government mortuary where Siphiwe's body was kept.

The officer told Sibeko and her family they discovered the body of a woman who was between the ages of 14 and 25.

Siphiwe Sibeko
Siphiwe Sibeko

"My sister and mother went in to identify, I could not bear to go in there," Sibeko said.

"We are pleading with men out there to stop killing women and children. This gender-based violence must come to an end; we are being slaughtered."

The teenager's murder came as police minister Bheki Cele raised concern about the high number of gender-based violence incidents reported to the police.

"Over 2,300 calls or complaints have been registered since the beginning of the lockdown from March 27 until March 31 and from these, 148 suspects were charged," he said.

The figure of calls and complaints between January and March 31 stands at 15,924.

"Once all reports have been consolidated, the figures will be measured against the number of calls and complaints received through the GBV Command Centre in 2019, where the figure stands at 87,920."

With the initial declaration of the Covid-19 state of disaster on March 15, Cele flagged as a concern the possible increase in GBV and domestic violence cases.

Police spokesperson Capt Kay Makhubele said police were searching for a number of suspects in connection with murder.

"The motive for the killing is unknown at this stage. Police are appealing to any member of the public who might have witnessed the incident or with information that can help in the investigation to please call crime stop on 08600-10111 or via MySAPS App. Callers can remain anonymous."