A 30-year-old man has been arrested after he allegedly beat his seven-year-old stepdaughter to death in the Sigodini area of Mid-Illovo in the KwaZulu-Natal midlands.Sanelisiwe Somabhele was allegedly assaulted by her stepfather in the presence of her 21-year old mother Mbali .Mbali Somabhele says her partner attacked Sanelisiwe with a stick.The stepfather claimed the child had been disrespectful. Later in that evening the stepfather allegedly continued beating the child after she complained about a headache. Both parents slept in the same rondavel with the child and they only realised in the morning that the child was dead.Neighbour Mthembeni Msomi says they are still shocked.
“As neighbours we are concerned about this matter because it’s for the first time this is happening in our area.”
The suspect’s sister Nomusa Ndlovu says this is not the first time the child was brutally assaulted. She has described her brother as a violent person.
“I told Sane to take off her clothes. I realised that she had been beaten. We instructed her mother to take the child to her maternal family because she was abused but that fell on deaf ears. She thought we were chasing her child away. We could see that the child is abused. He is violent. He disrespects our parents. We want him to rot in jail. We are scared of him.”
Somabhele could not hold back her tears as she outlined her child’s suffering. She claims she couldn’t report the abuse because her partner would drug her before each assault.
She is demanding justice for the little girl.
“I don’t feel safe. I’m scared of him. The community also thinks I’m a murderer because of the drug he gave me. Even after he killed the child I didn’t have the courage to report the incident to the neighbours. I was confused. He said we should get rid of the child’s body and we were going to tell people that the child disappeared while we were asleep. I want him to rot in jail. I will never forget what happened to my child because of the drug that I was given.”
Police spokesperson, Thembeka Mbhele, says the suspect is expected to appear in court soon.
“The suspect who is said to be a stepfather to the child severely assaulted the child on the day in the morning and in the afternoon. The police are continuing with the investigation and the suspect has been arrested. The mother, for now, has not been arrested, the investigation will reveal whether she should be arrested or not.”
Meanwhile, Mbhele says Umlazi police have opened an inquest docket after the body of a 12-year-old boy was found at Q section after he was reported missing.
“There is an inquest docket that has been opened for investigation in Umlazi. It alleged that on the 21st of July, an eleven-year-old boy was reported missing by the family. His body was found on the Yard at Q section Umhlebe road in Umlazi. The reason an inquest has been opened is because he had allegedly been bitten by dogs and he had injuries. We can confirm that some body parts were missing like an ear as well as an arm. That will be investigated by the police to check what is the cause of it and the post-mortem is going to determine what is the cause of death.”