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Syndicate in Mpumalanga targeting children for their body parts

Jun 12, 2022

By Neelam Rahim

MEC for Sports, Arts and Culture in Mpumalanga, Thandi Shongwe, believes there is a syndicate that targets children for body parts.

Six-year-old Bontle Mshiyane’s death shocked her community, and MEC Thandi Shongwe believes a syndicate may target children for body parts.

The mutilated body of Bontle Mashiyane was found last month near White River after the 6-year-old was allegedly raped and murdered. Mashiyane went missing in April, and her body was found 21 days later.

It was reported that her teacher delivered a moving tribute at Mshiyane’s funeral service as people came out in their numbers to pay their last respect to the late child. Mshiyane was last seen playing with friends in April. The community is still shocked by the manner she died.

Family spokesperson Norman Mazibane says the little one’s mother is not coping.

Mazibane says, “After seeing her child in that state, the bones and lying dead, helpless, it wasn’t easy for her. It took her the whole day and the day after to sink in, this call for the help of social workers to give her psychological support.”

There are calls for police to clamp down on a syndicate trading in body parts in Mpumalanga. Three years ago, two children from the same street were also murdered and their bodies mutilated.

MEC Shongwe says similar incidents are increasing, particularly in the same area. She said the government is putting more resources into dealing with the scourge.

“We think they are not the only one, and there is a syndicate. We want people to break into that chain and find out everybody; they kill and sell to who? What do they do with the parts that are our main concern as the government? We want those people to be found.”

SABC News reported that five people, including Mshiyane’s neighbours and sangoma, were arrested. The suspects are facing charges of kidnapping, rape and murder. They are expected to appear in court on 24 June.

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