Shepherd's terrible discovery of missing child in veld: 'the pain does not go away'
It's been eight months since 10-year-old Bawinile Khoza's body was found by her grandfather under a bush near her home. She had been kidnapped, raped, had her tongue cut out, and been murdered.
Her body was found a seven-minute walk from the tar road in the Snake Park section in Mmametlhake, Mpumalanga.
Two men charged with her murder were released two weeks ago after charges were dropped due to insufficient evidence.
A third suspect was arrested after being linked to her death through DNA. He will appear in court on October 10.
"We feel powerless and our lives have changed for the worse, the pain does not go away," Bawinile's grandfather Joseph Mondlana told the Sunday Times.
"Since this happened her mother, Nozipho, has lost her mind. She stopped eating, talking, laughing or socialising.
"She went crazy and we had to take her to relatives in Nelspruit, where she will be far from this place and heal."
Mondlana said the last time he saw his granddaughter alive was on December 9 at the home she shared with her grandparents. Bawinile was the second oldest of six siblings.
"It was a normal Saturday night. She was playing music with her siblings and I asked them to go to sleep as it was late. I then went to sleep."
When Mondlana woke up on Sunday morning, Bawinile was nowhere to be found.
After a fruitless search, on the Monday "we were alerted that one of the village shepherds had seen dogs gathered around the body of a young girl".