Two children were murdered and mutilated after they were kidnapped while playing in the street in Soweto, South Africa.
The mutilated remains of the children were found the morning after the young friends were reported missing by their families.
Nqobile Zulu, 5, and his friend, Tshiamo Ramanye, 6, disappeared on Wednesday, April 19, after they had been left by Tshiamo’s grandmother playing in the street.
Patrollers spent Wednesday night frantically searching for the boys but their bodies were found in separate locations in White City and Rockville on Thursday morning, April 20.
The boys were found with their noses, lips and gentials cut off.
The murders have raised concerns about a serial killer in the area and the police commissioner for Gauteng said they will face the “full might of the law”.
The grandmother of Tshiamo, Nqobile Ndlovu, could not hold back tears when talking about the death of her grandson, who was in her care following the death of his father in 2020.
“What a tragic loss! I am angry; I have lost my grandson. He is the son of my first-born, who died in 2020.
“I was consoling myself with this one. I identified him by his clothes. I could not look at him. My sister opened the cover and told me that his throat was slit and his penis is missing,” she told IOL News.
“It is difficult. We are in pain. This has hurt us,” said Nqobile Zulu’s guardian, Mapiti Shabalala.
“We don’t have money to bury our child. We are destitute and in need of justice.”
DA member of the Guateng Provincial Legislature Crezane Bosch said children were not safe in their communities and that it was crucial that people look out for children.
Crezane Bosch said: “Far too often, we have been hearing cases of young children who go missing and more often than not, they are found deceased.
“This is a clear indication that the lives of our children are at risk and therefore, it is of utmost importance – more than ever – that our communities look out for our children.”
She appealed for anyone with information about the deaths of the young boys to come forward.
“Violence against children is a scourge that cannot be tolerated in our communities. Let us all work together and report any criminal activity in our communities.”