“When I asked why he did it, all he said was, ‘forgive me my brother but I had to kill your son’.”
This chilling confession was made by the alleged murderer to the father of three-year-old Athenkosi “Lovey” Nkone less than two hours after the boy’s murder.
Police found the boy’s body stuffed in a suitcase in a shack in Gugulethu yesterday. A 20-year-old neighbour who had allegedly slit the boy’s throat and collected his blood in a bowl has been arrested.
Police spokesman Warrant Office November Filander said the suspect was found with a knife believed to have been used in the murder.
Filander declined to comment on allegations of a muti- killing.
The boy’s father, Sidney Mavata, said his son would’ve turned four next month. He disappeared while playing outside his home in NY78.
Mavata said he received a call from Lovey’s mother, his ex-girlfriend Caroline Nkone, at 10am, about an hour after their son went missing.
“She asked me if I had taken Lovey and I said no. She told me he went missing after playing with some boys in the street.”
Nkone told Mavata that some of the boys had seen him go into a neighbour’s house but had not seen him come out.
When Nkone went to look for her son, the owner of the house said the child was not there. But when she went a second time, a woman ran from the house screaming “the child, the child”.
The police were called and the boy’s body was found in a suitcase with blood oozing from it.
Mavata said he rushed over when the police called him.
“I asked to see my son and the police said it was okay because I had to identify the body. They opened up (the case) and all I could see was my son’s body, still wearing the clothes I saw him in in the morning, covered in blood.”
Mavata said there was a large bowl filled with his son’s blood. “It made me sick to my stomach and filled me with anger.”
As police led the suspect away, Mavata asked him the reason and was shocked when the man asked for the father’s forgiveness but said he had to kill his son.
“I still can’t believe my son is gone. His mother is in a complete state of shock and won’t recover for a long time, if ever.”
Police took more than six hours to remove Lovey’s body from the house. This sparked anger among a group of about 300 residents who gathered around the forensic unit vehicle. The angry crowd threatened to burn down the house and kill its owner but police managed to calm them.
A neighbour said she had seen Lovey playing with the boys less than an hour before he went missing.
“He was playing in front of his house and then a few hours later he’s found dead. It could have been any of our children,” said the woman as she clutched her daughter tightly.”
The suspect will appear in the Athlone Magistrate’s Court on Monday