Cape Town – A 37-year-old Eastern Cape man has been arrested for allegedly killing and burying his 15-year-old girlfriend under his bed.
Police have confirmed the 15-year-old as Yonela Nonkeneza, who was dug up from the suspect’s home at Qawukeni locality near King William’s Town (now Qonce), Eastern Cape, late on Wednesday afternoon.
Hours later, the man was arrested by police near Lower Mthombe outside Qonce, said police spokesperson Sibongile Soci.
“The circumstances surrounding the murder forms part of the investigation. However, it is alleged that the 15-year-old was last seen on Sunday, 28 March 2021,” Soci said.
“The cause of death is unknown and will be confirmed by post-mortem.”
The victim’s sister, Nontombazana Sofolo, said the suspect had accused Nonkeneza of stealing R500 from him, News24 reported. Sofolo had pleaded with him not to harm Nonkeneza, and promised to pay him back in instalments..
Qawukeni community leader Freeman Gqatso, 61, said the suspect was a well-known criminal who spent more time in prison than on the outside.
A suffocating smell from the 37-year-old suspect’s home had led to the horror discovery, DispatchLIVE reported.
Nonkeneza had only arrived in the village of her father’s family four months ago from Rustenburg, where she had lived with her mother. The family was going to perform a traditional ceremony formally welcoming her into their fold.
The uncle of the boyfriend alleged the suspect had come knocking on his brother’s door, saying: “u Yonela akashukumi uswekelike. Ndizomngcwabela apha e roomini (Yonela is not moving. She is dead. I’m going to bury her in my room).”
The uncle was too scared to check and waited for the arrival of his brother.
“Upon my arrival on Monday, I inspected the house, but I could not find anything that was suspicious, until my brother told me that he had confessed to killing Yonela