One of the two teenagers who allegedly killed an 11-year-old boy for his phone went to the family of the deceased and asked about his whereabouts on the same day his body was found in the bushes.
Tibane Mahanyele, 11, from GaMamadila village outside Seshego, in Polokwane, disappeared on Monday. He had gone to watch a soccer tournament with the suspects in nearby Makweya village.
His body was found the next day under a tree by a passer-by. Police have arrested the 15-year-old suspects.
The family of the deceased told Sowetan that one of the teenagers came to their house asking if Tibane had come back from the soccer tournament. Family members were searching for the missing boy at the time.
Tibane’s aunt Orocia Chokoe, 57, said: “He looked innocent and unsuspecting when he walked in the yard. The boy told me that Tibane left with his uncle to come home but I was surprised because his uncle was at work the whole weekend.”
Chokoe said the same teenager was found with Tibane’s cellphone.
“When he came to visit he didn’t mention that he has Tibane’s phone until we heard that a similar cellphone was charging at someone’s house.
“The owner of the house pointed out that the suspect had requested to charge the phone as he didn’t have a charger,” she said.
Chokoe said the teenager couldn’t explain how he obtained Tibane’s cellphone.
She said she suspected that Tibane was hit with a blunt object as he sustained a wound on his forehead and his arm was twisted.
“They only took his cellphone and he was fully dressed the same way he left home when we found him,” said Chokoe.
Tibane’s mother Machwene Mahanyele, 37, said she will miss her son, describing him as “a calm and respectful child”.
The suspects appeared in court yesterday but police spokesperson Brig Motlafela Mojapelo could not say when they would be assessed by the probation officer.