Bring back the death penalty, says the sister of murdered boy (5)

Lovemore Ncube (5) was allegedly raped and suffocated.

A quiet and playful 5-year-old boy, Lovemore Ncube, told his sister Sboniso that he was quickly going to buy snacks at a nearby tuckshop in the Indian centre in Ikageng last Wednesday morning.

Sadly, the boy did not return home. Instead, he was found that evening, allegedly raped and suffocated by a 33-year-old tuckshop owner, Daniel Mintah. Lovemore’s bloody body was found tucked inside a torn mattress.

On Monday, about twenty-five people picketed outside the Potchefstroom Magistrates’ Court where the suspect made his first appearance. The matter was postponed to 15 October.

Sboniso Ncube (19) feels the suspect deserves to die. “There’s no use of him being arrested. He must die the way he killed my brother. The death penalty must be reinstated. If nothing is done to him let him come outside, we want to kill him,” said his sobbing sister.

Protesters want the suspect to die. Photo: Selogile Leshage

“My mother is not herself right now. When other children enter our house, she thinks her son will also walk in any minute. This is traumatic for the whole family,” she said.

Sboniso said the family knew the suspect. “He once came to our house and asked our sister for food saying that he doesn’t have any electricity. Later my sister took the food to him,” she added.

“While we were busy looking for the child during the day, my mother met the suspect, who denied ever seeing the boy. We went to the police station late that night and heard someone talking about a boy who was killed at the Indian centre. I went to the place and found that it was my brother. It was a horrible scene,” said Sboniso.

Col. Adéle Myburgh, the NW SAPS spokesperson, explained what led to the discovery of the boy.

Myburgh says apparently a man visited the suspect during the day of Wednesday, 3 October.

“The man forgot his cell phone in the suspect’s room. He went back later in the evening to get his cell phone.

“While looking for his cell phone in the room, he discovered the body of the boy under the mattress. The suspect ran away. He called the police and they attended to the scene. The suspect was arrested the following day,” reported Myburgh.

She added that although it is suspected that the boy was raped and suffocated, the post-mortem will determine the cause of death.


He killed one of our children, now we must support him with food in prison

The death of Lovemore has angered the small community who live around the Indian Centre. Smartryk Ackermann says Lovemore was more like a son to him.

“He stayed two houses from my place. He was my neighbour and I treated him like my child. Last Sunday, my wife and I took him and his sister to the mall. That is how close we were,” he said. The furious man wanted the blood of the suspect.

“They must give him to me, I want to kill him slowly. It is not right to do this to children. Who is going to pay for his food in prison? He killed one of our children, now we must support him with food in prison. Even if he gets two life sentences, he is going to get food in jail. The same thing happened in Pretoria where that 21-year-old raped that girl. Hy moet vrek! We want the death penalty in this country.”


*Last week, the police erroneously reported that the suspect is 55 years old. They later stated that he is in fact 33 years old.

Selogile Leshage

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