Grieving KZN father recounts horror of finding missing toddler's body
A KwaZulu-Natal family is struggling to come to terms with the death of their toddler whose partially decomposed body was found next to a septic tank on the premises of cottages where his parents lived in Ngwelezane on the north coast.
The family of two-year-old Nkosenhle Ndimande, who went missing on March 20 and whose body was discovered a week later, told DA KZN provincial leader Francois Rodgers who visited them on Wednesday that it was their exhaustive search that led to the gruesome find in the township on the outskirts of Empangeni.
Nkosenhle’s father Khumbulani Ndimande said his son had been playing with other young children when he went missing.
“It was on a Sunday when I had been relaxing as I was preparing for my shift the next day. I then found that my boy had gone missing. That’s when the agony started,’’ he said.
He said despite speaking to the other children and their parents, no-one was able to say what happened to his son. Some of them joined the search around the cottages where they live and the surrounding grounds but to no avail.
He said his wife was traumatised.
Ndimande said the disappearance had set social media abuzz, with people speculating about the child's whereabouts. He said he fielded several calls from people with unknown numbers, who claimed to know where the child was.
“Initially one person asked for a ransom of R1,000 and it later went up to more than R3,000. Throughout all of this the police could not assist. Even when I had leads they would often rebuff them by saying that they did not deal with things said on social media,’’ said the father.
He discovered his son’s body after investigating a bad smell from a septic tank and was in disbelief because his son looked like a “white doll”.
Ndimande said he was disappointed by the police investigation and that the family had been “kept in the dark”.
Rodgers told TimesLIVE that he was told that police arrived the day the boy went missing and allegedly weren't seen again until his body was found.
“They should be on the ground and communicating with the family. That’s unacceptable. We don’t know whether forensics were taken,’’ he said.
Rodgers said he was disheartened to hear of the apparent lack of communication by the police and would be liaising with police minister Bheki Cele’s office to find answers for the family.
“It appears that the police have not interrogated and investigated the matter thoroughly. I will be putting questions to my national counterpart,’’ said Rodgers.
Police spokesperson Lt-Col Nqobile Gwala said the allegations levelled by the Ndimande family were unfounded.
“Police are working tirelessly to find the perpetrators,” said Gwala.
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