KZN police investigating death of child

Friday, November 11, 2022

The South African Police Service in KwaZulu-Natal is investigating the circumstances leading up to the death of a disabled 12-year-old Nondumiso Zondi, who was buried without an autopsy and a death certificate.

Nondumiso, who had Cerebral Palsy, died on Saturday in Coffee Farm, KwaZulu-Natal, and was immediately buried at his home on Sunday.

His father, Mdu Zondi (31), allegedly buried him in a shallow grave and did not report the death of his son to the relevant authorities.

On Thursday, his body was exhumed by the KwaZulu-Natal Search and Rescue after a whistle-blower alerted Deputy Minister of Social Development, Hendrietta Bogopane-Zulu, about the death of the child. The body was sent to the Pinetown State mortuary.

The child’s grandmother, who was collecting a grant on his behalf, had passed away in May this year, leaving his stepmother as his primary caregiver.

The whistle blower further spoke about how the child had died on Saturday afternoon and was buried on Sunday morning. The whistle blower further reported that the family did not notify authorities about Nondumiso’s death.

Bogopane-Zulu, who visited the family along with the SAPS on Thursday, said that the disabled child had been bed-ridden for 12 years in the backyard of his family home and was not attending school.

She said that the family allegedly would leave the child in a one-room shack by himself with the TV playing on maximum volume.

“After being told about Nondumiso, I could not sleep. I kept on praying and pleading with God that there would be no truth to this story,” Bogopane-Zulu said.

According to the Deputy Minister, Nontuthuko Zondi (28), who is the child’s stepmother, confirmed that her stepson had died on Saturday after a short illness.

Due to the lack of funds, Zondi said, Nondumiso's father and three of his friends dug a grave for him and buried him on Sunday morning at 08:00, where family members and some neighbours had attended the funeral.

Referring to the latest quarterly crime statistics, Bogopane-Zulu said that there were 243 children murdered between April and June 2022.

“This happens during Disability Right Awareness Month. Disabled children deserve a right to a dignified life - just like any other child” she said.

Disability Rights Awareness Month (DRAM) is an annual campaign that is held from 03 November to 03 December. This year’s campaign is held under the theme; “Empowering Persons with Disabilities through resourceful, sustainable and safe environment.” –