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Missing city man found dead

FUNERAL: Mourners yesterday bid farewell to Ridhwaan after his body was discovered in a veld on Wednesday night.

A 19-YEAR-old man appeared in the Kimberley Magistrate’s Court yesterday after he was arrested for the murder of Ridhwaan Mackay, who went missing last week.

The body of 19-year-old Mackay, from West End, was found on the R31 road near the under-construction Kimberley mental hospital on Wednesday night.

Mackay’s body was burnt and dumped in the veld after he was apparently killed last Thursday. It is not certain where the murder took place.

Police spokesman, Captain Sergio Kock, said that the 19-year-old suspect is facing a charge of murder.

“Police followed up on information and found the body of Ridhwaan Mackay next to the R31 road. It appears that his hands and feet were tied and his body was partially burnt. The discovery was made on Wednesday at approximately 6.45pm.

“Police arrested a 19-year-old male suspect and charged him with murder. An autopsy will be performed to determine the exact cause of death,” said Kock.

Mackay was reported missing last Thursday after he told his mother that he was going to visit his sister. He left in his mother’s white VW Golf 7, which was later found abandoned in a street in West End on Sunday.

Emotional family members gathered at the scene on Wednesday night and held a prayer meeting for the deceased.

During the funeral service that was held yesterday, Mackay’s great-aunt, Lone Carls, said that the family was devastated by the news.

“This is very bad and is heartbreaking. The family is totally devastated by the news. We never imagined that this would happen to our child and that we would find our child in such a state. His body was burnt and his face was badly damaged as a result of the burning, but his father could recognise him from the socks he was wearing,” said Carls.

She added that the family does not know what the motive behind the killing was.

“We do not know the suspect who was arrested by the police and what motive he had for killing Ridhwaan. We do not even care to know what drove him to carry out such an act. It is a heinous act and no motive can justify what happened.

“Ridhwaan was killed on the day he went missing and the suspect still drove around in his mother’s car while we searched for Ridhwaan. People were under the impression that it was Ridhwaan driving the car meanwhile it was his killer.”

She said that the deceased did not deserve to die the way he did.

“Ridhwaan was a very quiet, respectful and humble child. I last saw him when they came to visit me in Mossel Bay. I cannot believe that we now have to bury him. The way he was killed was brutal and he did not deserve to die in such a manner,” Carls said.

The grandmother of the deceased, Jenny Mahmud, said that the family had been hopeful that Ridhwaan would return home.

“We have been hopeful all along. Everytime we received a call we would pray that it would be someone saying that we should come fetch Ridhwaan. We never imagined that we would get a call saying we must come identify his body,” said Mahmud.

She added that the family hope that justice will prevail in the matter.

“Justice should be served to those responsible for killing our child. He was still so young and we have now lost him,” she said tearfully.

Mackay was laid to rest at the Kimberley Muslim Cemetery.

The case was postponed to the beginning of May for further investigations.