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Two grade one pupils murdered, dumped into latrine in Nyanga

By Victor Maphosa

Two grade one pupils from Nyanga were murdered on Tuesday on their way home from Mbaza Primary School and their bodies were found the following day dumped in a disused toilet at an abandoned homestead after searchers followed a trail of blood.

Police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi
Police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi

Melissa and Daniel Benza, both aged seven from Sambaza Village in Nyanga, were killed on the 4km walk from their school.

After noticing that the two were unusually late from school on Tuesday, their parents went to the school to look for them, but their teacher told them that all pupils had been dismissed at 1pm.

Their parents started the search.

They made a police report and the search party continued the following day and more villagers, including other schoolchildren were involved.

About half-way between the school and their home, searchers found bloodstains on the grass and soil around an abandoned homestead. They followed the trail to a disused toilet with a metal sheet covering the hole.

One searcher removed the sheet, but there was darkness underneath so the village headman was called and he brought a torch.

The searchers then saw the bodies of the two children covered in grass with deep cuts on their necks. The bodies were otherwise intact.

National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said the motive behind the murder is not yet known, but that a manhunt has been started.

“The ZRP is investigating two cases of murder which occurred at Sambaza Village, Chief Mutasa Nyanga on April 14, 2021 where two minors were found dead in a disused toilet pit. The victims left home for school on April 13, 2021 and never returned prompting a search.

“Meanwhile, the bodies were retrieved from the pit and deep cuts were observed on the necks. All other body parts were intact but with blood stained uniforms. The bodies were ferried to Nyanga Hospital and we are waiting for post mortem,” Asst Comm Nyathi said. The Herald

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