Man arrested in connection with Soweto teen’s murder

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

A 22-year-old man has been arrested for the murder of the 14-year-old girl whose body was found dumped in Soweto.

Siphiwe Sibeko’s body was found mutilated and raped in Mndeni last Friday. This was after she went missing on Thursday while on her way to a tuckshop in Dobsonville.

Police spokesperson Cpt Kay Makhubele said the 22-year-old man is expected to appear in court soon. “Police are searching for the other second suspect that is still on the run,” Makhubele said.

Nandi Sibeko, the teen’s mother could not contain herself on Sunday when she described the state in which her daughter was discovered after she went missing.

“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.

She 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 learner 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,” Sibeko said.

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. 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 a child who does not come home and doesn't like going out much and only has one friend,” she said.

She 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 that they discovered a body of a woman who was between the ages 14 and 25.

“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.”

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