Family finds body after ‘cops do little’
Cape Town - Sizeka Batala’s family and neighbours found her body in a grave in a bushy area, a month after she was reported missing and after they say the police showed little interest in investigating her case.
Batala, who lived in Happy Valley in Blue Downs, was reported missing on February 15. She has a four-year-old child and lived with her partner.
Her family tracked down her partner’s family and eventually the partner, who they say had fled to Mozambique. Yesterday, her uncle, Siqhamo Batala, said that was how they found out where her body was.
Siqhamo said the police had not done anything since they reported his niece missing.
“We reported her missing the following day (February 15), only to be told last week when we went to the station for an update that the investigating officer was on leave. No one came and told us that.
“We then decided to investigate for ourselves with the help of the community. That is how we found this grave,” said Siqhamo.
He said they suspected she was killed and buried in a grave, allegedly by her former boyfriend.
“We called a community meeting where it was established he has a sister who lives in Tzaneen. We called her and she directed us to the family in Mozambique. We called them and pleaded that we only want to know where our daughter’s remains are so we can bury her. He pointed us to the grave and confessed to killing her,” Siqhamo said.
A community leader, Nicholson Mkatu, said now that he has confessed, they would like clarity on why he did it. “We will not revenge her death. We will let the law run its course.”
Her father, Mninawa Batala, said the family would give her a proper burial.
“My child will be buried with the dignity she deserves. It will also mean a closure for us. We will be able to move on,” he said.
A resident, West Mzamane, said: “I don’t understand how the law works. After we noticed that police will never help us, we conducted our search in this bush because we suspected she could be hidden here. We went to the police station and asked to be accompanied by sniffer dogs but police refused. Had they provided us with dogs, this body would have been found long ago. That was three weeks ago.”
Police spokesperson Noloyiso Rwexana said she does not have information on allegations of police inefficiency.
Rwexana said a case of murder is under investigation after a body was found in Happy Valley on Monday night.
“The possibility that the body is that of a 30-year-old female who was reported missing cannot be ruled out.
“However, the identity of the deceased is yet to be determined,” she said.
No one had been arrested.
Rwexana did not respond to the allegations made by the family.