Alwande Shabalala’s beheaded body was found lying in a rondavel while her head was found in a river.
A KWAZULU-Natal man who allegedly beheaded a six-year-old girl is expected to appear in the Estcourt Magistrate’s Court on Monday.
The incident occurred a few hours after the launch of the 16 Days for No Violence against Women and Children campaign.
KZN police spokesperson Captain Nqobile Gwala said that on Thursday night the Ntabamhlophe SAPS received a report of a girl being killed in the KwaSobabili area.
On arrival at the scene, the police found the beheaded body of a six-year-old girl lying in a rondavel.
The head was later found in a river by police officers from the Search and Rescue unit.
Alwande Shabalala’s aunt, who declined to be named, said they found the accused’s pants, allegedly with bloodstains on them, and handed them over to the police for investigation.
The man was known to them.
Gwala said a 20-year-old man was arrested on Friday morning.
Social Development MEC Nonhlanhla Khoza condemned Alwande’s brutal murder.
Khoza said that although the information on what led to the child’s murder was still sketchy, it was alleged that the man had a confrontation with Alwande’s uncle at his home before the murder.
Khoza said the man allegedly left the home and secretly returned and entered the rondavel in which the child was sleeping.
“He was allegedly noticed running out with a plastic bag, dripping blood. Upon investigation by family members, they found Alwande’s body, with the head missing. It was very hard to comprehend how a man could allegedly resort to killing an innocent and defenceless child.”
Khoza described the murder as a barbaric act by a heartless criminal.
“The gruesome circumstances of this case shows that the suspect had allegedly planned his act.
“Whatever could have been an issue between the adults, the child was never involved.
“We know that the majority of children and women are abused and murdered by those close to them who are supposed to provide protection. We have to work together to end this scourge,” she said.
Khoza said a team of social workers was assigned to the family after the case was brought to the attention of the department. She said the social workers gave psycho-social support to the family and will continue to do so until the family is able to cope following their traumatic experience.
“Although the child’s life will not be returned, we need this person to get punished. We don’t need such people in our society. We have full confidence in the justice sector, that it would not fail us.”