Families watch on as Soweto bodies exhumed
Sono and Shabalala families wait as officials investigate bodies believed to be theirs from 1988.
JOHANNESBURG - The exhumation of two graves, believed to contain the remains of two young men who were reported missing to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), is underway in Soweto.
Corlett “Lolo” Sono and Siboniso Anthony Shabalala disappeared more than 24 years ago and now the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) believes they have found their bodies.
Their deaths are alleged to have involved Winnie Madikizela–Mandela.
Under a muted grey sky haphazard rows of black granite tomb stones lie scattered amid unmarked graves.
Clusters of forensic investigators, uniformed officers and photographers are clustered amongst fresh dirt behind a police cordon concentrating on dusting away the soil from the torn plastic covering the remains.
The Sono and Shabalala families are sitting nearby under a cream coloured tent, singing and praying.
The men were allegedly last seen at Madikizela–Mandela’s house in 1988, apparently severely beaten before going missing.
Police have told Eyewitness News they will be opening a murder investigation into their deaths.
Shabalala’s mother named Madikizela-Mandela as her son’s killer in her testimony at the TRC.
But no action was ever taken against her.
(Edited by Tamsin Wort)