Police arrested a suspect almost three months after a woman’s body was found burnt and dumped at a sugar cane field in KwaZulu-Natal.
The suspect is expected to appear in the Richmond Magistrate’s Court on Thursday, November 3.
KZN Department of Social Development MEC Nonhlanhla Khoza applauded law-enforcement agencies for working tirelessly and arresting the suspect who lured the young woman with a job offer in Eston-Illovo area.
The woman, Nkosikhona Zondo, 27, left her home in Camperdown in August, where she was living with her sister after receiving a call from a man who told her that she was supposed to report for duty on August 8.
However, her sister could not find Zondo after she left home until August 17, when they went to check the body of a woman found burnt in a sugar cane field by farm workers.
Zondo’s body was burnt beyond recognition and had wires, suspected to be remains of a tyre, around her neck.
She was only identified by her family with pieces of her clothing that were slightly visible, including shoes and socks.
“It was discovered during the post-mortem that the deceased was also pregnant,” the department said.
In August, police spokesperson Constable Thenjiswa Ngcobo said Mid Illovo police were appealing to the public to assist them in locating the relatives of a woman found at Mid Illovo by farm workers on August 8, at 12pm.
“The burnt body of a female in her twenties was recovered when the workers went to investigate the cause of the fire at the sugar cane fields,” Ngcobo said.
“The deceased was burnt beyond recognition and she had wires suspected to be of a tyre around her neck. The only part of the deceased’s clothing that was slightly visible is the black takkies and navy blue socks, the rest of her clothing items were not visible.”
Khoza commended the great work that law-enforcement agencies have been doing in this regard to trace the perpetrator. She said the law-enforcement agencies had worked tirelessly investigating the murder.
“We need police to do more work and bring all necessary evidence to ensure that the case is watertight to ensure the suspect is not released on technical grounds in court. We are happy that justice will be served following such cruelty,” Khoza said.
When the suspect appears in court on Thursday, a group of social workers from the department will be joined by various stakeholders picketing outside the court calling for justice for Zondo. They will also be calling for the court to give stiffer sentences to the accused.
“Although the life of the deceased would not be brought back, however, we want to see all people who violate the rights of women and children being sent to prison. Cases of gender-based violence need us all as a society. We all need to unite to end the scourge of gender-based violence in our communities,” Khoza added.