DURBAN – A 7-year-old boy was strangled in Phoenix early Monday morning.
His 4-year-old sister apparently watched helplessly while her brother was killed.
A 29-year-old man, close to the child, has been arrested.
Police officers threw a dragnet around the suburb of Caneside this morning said Glen Naidoo, spokesperson of private security company KZN VIP.
“Police found the man carrying the boy and girl, and crying as he walked the streets of Phoenix,” Naidoo said.
He urged social workers from the Department of Social Development, church leaders and neighbours to rally around the bereaved family and help them.
Lieutenant-Colonel Thulani Zwane, provincial police spokesperson, confirmed the incident, saying it took place at 1am today.
“A case of murder was opened at Phoenix police station and a 29-year-old suspect was arrested. The suspect is expected to appear in the Verulam Magistrate’s Court soon,” he said.
Speaking at the house, Rinaldo’s grandmother Tracy Sinayhakah said the children were staying with the man over the weekend.
Her daughter was at the
police station on Monday. Her 4-year-old grandchild told them she watched as Elijah was killed.
The man apparently also tried to attack the little girl and then tried to kill himself.
“The last words we heard from my baby were: ‘Bye Ma. I love you. See you on Sunday’,” said the grandmother.
“Elijah was learning how to play musical instruments at church,” she said.
The man’s brother told the Daily News that when he heard that his brother had not returned home last night, he tried calling him several times.
“I eventually got hold off him at 12.30am. I asked him where he was and where the children were.
“He said he had killed them and cut the call,” said the brother.
“My heart sank and I went cold. I thought he was joking. I later went to the clinic (where the children were taken this morning). I am still having flashbacks of seeing him dead,” he said. – Additional reporting by Se-Anne Rall.