A Ladysmith family is devastated after discovering their missing 3-year-old boy dead in a hole near their house. The boy’s grandmother believes her 3-year-old grandson’s killers intended on burying his body completely, never to be found.
Ntombifuthi Zwane, 40, found her grandson Alwande “Fana” Mtshali’s body on Tuesday after they had searched for him since 10am on Monday.
She said they had searched for the toddler at the spot where he was eventually found, more than once.
“I saw his blue flip-flop and ran to where he was, where there were holes dug up for poles in preparation for fencing. I was thinking maybe he was trapped there and alive. When I was closer I saw just his leg. I started pulling but he was stiff. I had thought he must have been put there recently as we had searched the place before so I pulled harder. His head and top half of his body were in the hole covered in sand and large rocks,” said Zwane.
She explained that the family homestead was a large property with separately built rooms and the family had a thorn bush hedge as a fence.
Zwane said they were removing the thorn bush hedge to replace it with a wire fence and Alwande was found in a hole for the pole of the fence.
“The hole had been dug some more to extend it, to fit him in there. I don’t know if maybe they were rushing or something disturbed them but you can see they intended on burying him so we never find him.”
Zwane, Alwande’s maternal grandmother, explained that on Monday the boy had been with his 4-month-old sister and their minder.
“She said the infant began crying and the minder went to a separate room, leaving Alwande sitting on the stoep of the TV room.
“When she was finished feeding the baby, she called out for Alwande but he didn’t respond. He wasn’t on the stoep. The search then began. We searched all of the homestead property.
“The area councillor Bhekokwakhe Majola put up an alert on Facebook and more of the community from across the area came and helped search bushes and rivers. We searched until 8am on Tuesday,” said Zwane.
They arrived at home that morning to find congregants gathered praying and she joined them. She prayed deeper than she ever had and felt that her grandson was no longer alive.
“I prayed that He at least let me find Alwande’s body. Something told me to go outside. I walked up towards one of the rooms and something told me to turn back and head down our property.
“We had walked this way searching before. While walking down I saw his blue flip-flop,” said Zwane.
Police spokesperson Captain Nqobile Gwala said that Ezakheni police had opened an inquest docket.