South Africa, Pretoria – Keitumetse Banda, a 12-year-old girl whose mutilated body was found dumped near a dam in New Eersterust near Hammanskraal, the family believes only the death penalty could serve the justice deserved.
Keitumetse Banda, nicknamed Itu, was raped and murdered. Her naked was body was discovered by community members on Saturday morning after an intense search.
On Sunday, her mother, Agnes Banda, told how she fainted after receiving the news that her daughter’s body was found with her throat slit and her intestines spilling out.
She was not among the group that retrieved the body of Itu, because she was too weak to go near the scene.
Agnes was later told by the child’s grandmother, Johanna Banda, who heard what transpired at a secluded dam that runs through a neighbouring area called Stinkwater.
The last time they saw Itu was on Friday when she visited her father a stone’s throw from home.
Her mother said she grew worried when the girl did not come back home on time, as she usually did.
Inquiring about her daughter’s whereabouts, Agnes was told she was last seen in a company of a 29-year-old man known to the family.
She said the suspect was seen walking away with Itu by other children who were playing with her daughter.
Police spokesperson Captain Kay Makhubele said the suspect was arrested following the murder of the girl on Saturday.
“The girl was reported missing on Saturday morning at around 2 am after last being seen on Friday with the suspect. During preliminary investigations, police arrested the person who was last seen with the girl, and in the morning the body of a girl was found next to the dam at Stinkwater with injuries.
The suspect was charged with murder,” Makhubele said.
Speaking to the Pretoria News, Agnes, who was sobbing while lying on a mattress and mourning her daughter’s death, called for the courts to mete out a harsh sentence that would fit the crime.
“I wish they could bring back the death sentence to punish the person who killed my daughter. Of course, he was arrested, but all we know is that very soon, he will be walking free in the streets.”
According to Agnes, the suspect used to keep the company of Itu’s father and they would play morabaraba in the street.
Johanna said: “Itu was so excited that she had finished writing her exam and was confident she had passed. She told me she would like to visit me in Tembisa during the school holidays.”
The family described her as a talkative child who was very playful and liked helping out with household chores such as washing dishes.
A Grade 6 learner, Itu dreamt of becoming a pilot or a social worker.
She was also a budding actress who was expected to perform in a school play on Tuesday.
On Saturday, after Itu’s body was recovered, some angry community members descended on the house of the suspect, threatening to burn it.
They were stopped by police who arrived just in time to quell the tension.