Home South African 14-year-old raped, murdered Soweto teen could only be identified by clothes, birthmark

14-year-old raped, murdered Soweto teen could only be identified by clothes, birthmark


The young girl, was raped, assaulted, killed and her body tossed in a stream near Emndeni, Soweto.

Johannesburg – “Can gender-based violence please end?

“They kill and hurt us physically and emotionally. They have taken our bright girl who had hopes of being a Civil engineer from us,” said Nandi Sibeko, 40, a day after the bloodied body of her daughter, Simphiwe, 14, was found in a stream next to a tree after she went missing.

Her perpetrator had raped and assaulted her before tossing her body in the stream near Emndeni, Soweto.

Simphiwe’s family had last seen her on Thursday when she went to a nearby spaza shop to buy snacks for the family. Her death comes as the country is still in Covid-19 lockdown, which has significantly decreased crime levels in the country. However, the restrictions of public movement have seen a sharp spike of cases of gender-based violent crimes, with as many as 2 300 complaints registered within the first five days of the lockdown.

Nandi Sibeko, 40, weeps at her home in Dobsonville for her 14-year-old daughter who was assaulted, raped and killed. Picture: Nhlanhla Phillips African News Agency (ANA)

Simphiwe, a Grade 9 learner from Aurora Girls’ High School, has become a 23rd Gauteng pupil to die since the beginning of this year.

Sibeko, 40, of Dobsonville, had last seen her daughter on Wednesday night when she made her change their bedroom set-up because she wanted to sleep on the mattress. 

“When I refused to change it because I was tired, she said she’d help me,” said the mother.

The next day, Simphiwe went to a nearby spaza shop to buy snacks, her grandmother Joyce told The Star on Sunday. 

“She came to me to ask if I wanted cookies, and I said yes. She never came back,” said the devastated grandmother. “We waited for her to return the whole night on Thursday.

“On Friday we went to look for her. The spaza shop owner said he hadn’t seen her at his store. None of her friends knew her whereabouts. We contacted her father, who alerted her aunts, they put up posts on Facebook and Twitter,” added the grandmother.

The family then opened a case of a missing person at Dobsonville police station. When a radio announcement was made about a female body being found in Emndeni, family members went to a local mortuary and confirmed the body to be hers.

“When they came back they told me that the body was of a girl between the ages of 14 and 25 wearing grey pants and a pink jacket,” said the tearful mother. 

“I went to the room to check those items and they were not there.”

Sibeko went to the morgue to identify the body. “She was so brutalised they could only identify her by her clothes and birthmark,” she said.

Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi said: “How do people sleep after committing such a barbaric and cruel act? We feel the family’s pain.”

The Star

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