“It has been more than 100 days since Bokgabo Poo was murdered, and still her parents have no idea what happened to their little girl or where her missing body parts are,” said Tshepi Mmekwa, Action Centre coordinator at Action Society. “The police refuse to give her parents or Action Society an update on progress in her case. Does this mean there is no progress, or do they refuse to share it? No one knows.”
Action Society has now sent the SAPS a formal letter of demand on behalf of Bokgabo’s family to get feedback.
The suspect in Bokgabo’s murder, Ntokozo Khulekani Zikhali, last appeared in court on 14 November 2022 but refused to give any information on where her remains are. However, CCTV captured Zikhali walking with Bokgabo on the day of her murder after he gave her friend money to buy sweets to lure her away.
Parts of Bokgabo’s body were found in the neighbourhood the day after her disappearance. Her dismembered body was found later that day. The family had to wait almost a month to bury her while waiting on DNA confirmation.
The police arrested Zikhali on 14 October 2022, and he subsequently appeared in court. He was out on bail at the time of Bokgabo’s murder for raping a nine-year-old girl, for which he was arrested on 7 November 2021. Zikhali will appear in court next on 14 February 2023.
“This case is an awful example of how the criminal justice system not only fails victims of crime but also how the police fail to protect South African children,” says Mmekwa. “This family has been through too much. First, their daughter was murdered by a known child rapist out on bail, then they had to wait on DNA results, and now the police won’t tell them what is happening in the case. We are pleading with the police to give them feedback.”