FORMER Highlanders captain and How Mine assistant coach Bekithemba Ndlovu’s daughter, Nokuthaba, who was found dead after she went missing for a week was buried at West Park Cemetery in Bulawayo yesterday.
Nokuthaba (16) who was doing Form Two at Premier High School in Pumula went missing after she left her aunt’s home in the city centre to escort a friend and two teenage boys at about 6PM on May 5.
Her father was told last Thursday that his daughter’s body was in the mortuary at the United Bulawayo hospitals.
Ndlovu yesterday said post mortem results would be released during the course of the week.
He said families of those who were last to be with his daughter did not bother to attend the funeral.
However, a girl from Emganwini who was also with the two teenage boys last to be seen with Nokuthaba attended a service that was conducted at Nketa 8 Seventh Day Adventist Church yesterday morning.
“One of the teenagers, a girl from Emganwini who has been giving conflicting statements on the matter attended the church service in the morning accompanied by her mother. We never saw them during the course of the funeral wake and even at the cemetery. Maybe this girl really wanted to see during body viewing that it was really Nokuthaba in the coffin,” said Ndlovu.
“The other two boys from Nketa 9 and one of the mothers are still on the run. As a family we suspect foul play because if one is not guilty why would you run away from the police instead of assisting with investigations.”
He said the two teenage boys and one of the boys’ mother went into hiding after failing to give police satisfactory explanations.
“At this stage, I do not want to say much because that could jeopardise police investigations,” he said.
During the burial proceedings at West Park Cemetery yesterday, it was a sombre atmosphere as family members were still failing to come to terms with the fact that a young life had been lost so soon.
Officials from Highlanders and How Mine football clubs, players and supporters as well as mourners from Nketa suburb as well as Premier High School teachers and pupils attended the burial. “It is so sad to lose such a young life in this manner. Justice must prevail should the culprits get apprehended,” a female mourner said.
The day Nokuthaba left home in Nketa 8, Ndlovu was not there but his daughter had asked her mother for permission to go to her aunt who stays in the city centre. She went with a friend. Later she left the house in the city centre in the company of her friend and two teenage boys, but what transpired, leading to her death remains unclear.
Her aunt got worried when she was not back at 8PM prompting her to inform Nokuthaba’s parents that their daughter was not yet back. A police report was made at Tshabalala Police Station the following day.
Ndlovu said a taxi driver who ran over Nokuthaba told him that the teenage girl died on admission to United Bulawayo Hospitals (UBH).
He said according to the first driver, he tried to remove Nokuthaba from the road after running over her and while moving her with assistance from a pedestrian, a speeding car suddenly appeared and ran over her also, sending the two men scurrying for cover.