A NINE year old girl from Lupane allegedly teamed up with her Grade One neighbour and tied her four year old sister’s hands and legs with strips of bark (ingxoza) before beating her to death with a stick.
They allegedly left the body in a bush, went home and pretended as if nothing had happened.
The names of the children have been withheld for ethical reasons.
Villagers organised a search party after the four-year-old ECD pupil at Ndwande Primary School, failed to return home on Monday.
Her sister allegedly did not tell her grandmother (50), name also withheld to protect the identity of the minors, that her sibling was no more as villagers frantically organised the search party.
Villagers said the elder sister often told her friends she hated her younger sibling because she pretended to be better than everyone else, simply because she had come from South Africa.
The tragedy occurred between 3 and 6PM on Monday and the villagers found the body around midnight on the same day.
The siblings’ parents are both based in South Africa.
A Chronicle news crew arrived at Ndwande Village under Chief Mabhikwa around 1PM yesterday, moments after police had taken the body away.
The granny could hardly speak.
She, however, rallied herself and said both girls had missed lessons on Monday as she had travelled to Lupane Centre for some business.
“As soon as I arrived home around 6PM I noticed that the younger girl was missing and I asked her sister of her whereabouts.
“She said she didn’t know where her sister was. I relaxed a bit thinking she was at one of our neighbours’ homes.
“As it became darker I got worried and started looking for her at our neighbours’. The Grade One boy eventually revealed they had left her sleeping in the bush,” said the elderly woman.
She said the four-year-old girl had recently been sent home from South Africa while she had lived with the elder one since she was a baby.
“I returned home and questioned the elder sister about her sibling’s whereabouts. She fled from the house. We discovered her sleeping in the pig sty early this morning,” said the old woman.
“My husband and I interrogated the Grade One boy. He told us the elder girl tied her sister’s hands and legs together and they beat her up until she looked dead. He directed us to the scene where we found her lifeless body,” she said.
A neighbour, Mr Themba Ncube said villagers were shaken by the incident.
“The younger boy didn’t realise they had killed someone or done something bad.
“That’s why he explained, in a rather excited manner, what they had done while the older one vanished from home.
“The boy explained, demonstrating how they had beaten his neighbour up.
“He said when she stopped moving they tried to carry her but she was very heavy,” said Mr Ncube.
The children, he said, grabbed the younger girl’s legs and dragged her for about 250 metres.
He said they eventually gave up, dumped the body and went to their homes.
Ndwande Primary School development committee chairperson Mr Never Ngwenya said what the children had done was shocking and unbelievable.
“They will both need serious counselling,” said Mr Ngwenya.
Teachers at the school expressed shock over the incident saying the deceased girl had been enrolled about two months back.
The police Victim Friendly Unit took the two children to Lupane Police Station.