By Whinsley Masara
A four year old girl from Lupane who died after being attacked by her nine-year-old sister and a Grade One neighbour, was choked by sand that the other children had stuffed into her mouth to stop her from screaming, a postmortem has revealed.
The pair tied the now-deceased’s hands and legs with strips of bark (ingxoza) before stuffing sand into her mouth and beating her with a stick.
According to a police source, a post- mortem that was conducted at United Bulawayo Hospitals yesterday morning, established that the deceased choked on sand that blocked her throat as well as nostrils.
She actually swallowed some of the sand. “The postmortem also stated that the minor suffered bruises on the left side of the face, serious cuts and slashes on both thighs and bruises all over her body. She also sustained a deep cut on her left elbow. The serious bruises on her back were probably sustained when the children dragged the body,” said the police source.
The now deceased’s sister allegedly teamed up with her neighbour and beat her up and left the body in a bush, went home and pretended as if nothing had happened.
The tragedy occurred between 3 and 6PM on Monday and villagers found the body around midnight on the same day.
The siblings’ parents are both based in South Africa.The names of the children have been withheld for ethical reasons.
Villagers said the elder sister often told her friends she hated her younger sibling because she pretended to be better than everyone else, simply because she had come from South Africa.
The four-year-old girl, according to the siblings’ grandmother, had recently been sent home from South Africa while she had lived with the elder one since she was a baby.
A neighbour, Mr Themba Ncube, said villagers were shaken by the incident.
“The younger boy didn’t realise they had killed someone or done something bad.
“That’s why he explained, in a rather excited manner, what they had done while the older one vanished from home.
“The boy explained, demonstrating how they had beaten his neighbour up.
“He said when she stopped moving they tried to carry her but she was very heavy,” said Mr Ncube.
The children, he said, grabbed the younger girl’s legs and dragged her for about 250 metres. He said they eventually gave up, dumped the body and went to their homes.
Ndwande Primary School development committee chairperson Mr Never Ngwenya said what the children had done was unbelievable.
“They will both need serious counselling,” said Mr Ngwenya.
Teachers at the school expressed shock over the incident saying the deceased girl had been enrolled about two months back. The police Victim Friendly Unit took the two children to Lupane Police Station. The Chronicle