Model killed in SA


JOHANNESBURG — The mystery surrounding the unidentified body of a woman found on the grounds of Legae Gardens block of flats in Newtown, Jo’burg, has been solved.

It has been established that preliminary police investigations reveal the murder could be a result of a love triangle gone wrong.

The dead woman, found wrapped in blankets and dumped at the playground of the residential complex, has been identified as 24-year-old Zimbabwean model Christabel Sibanda.

Swazi college student Michael Josiah Tsabedze was arrested in Boksburg last weekend. He was found in possession of Sibanda’s car. Tsabedze is alleged to have been romantically involved with Sibanda.

After preliminary investigations by the Boksburg police, Tsabedze (19) has been linked to the murder. He appeared at the Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday. His case has been postponed to next month.

Sibanda’s husband, Samuel David, who owns an Internet café on Rockey Street, Yeoville, lived with Sibanda and their five-year-old son in Kempton Park.

David said Sibanda disappeared on September 8. She had taken his car, saying she was going to visit a friend. After closing shop in the evening, he tried to call her.

“I called her MTN number and it was off. I then called her Cell C number and it rang, but (there was) no answer. I then called her mother to ask if my wife and the child were there and she said the child was there but not my wife.”

At about 11pm, both Sibanda’s phones were switched off, David said.

Panicking, he went to the Yeoville Police Station to report her missing, but was told that he had to wait at least 24 hours.

Sibanda’s mother told him at about 3am the next day that she had sent Sibanda an sms asking if she was okay and she responded positively.

David received a short message from Sibanda three hours later saying: “Can I go to work?”

He found this strange because Sibanda was not employed. She was a part-time model for Jo’burg-based Gapa Model Agency.

David, of Nigeria, said he then went back to the police station to open a missing persons case.

“I don’t know why they killed her. It’s very painful. Where I come from, people are not allowed to kill,” he said, wiping away tears.

The hardest part for him was to tell his son and in-laws that Sibanda had been killed.

Miriam Mapheto of Gapa said she was not aware of Sibanda’s death until this paper contacted her.

“I’ve been sending her messages two weekends back and she wasn’t responding.

“I thought maybe she was out of the country,” Mapheto said.

Sibanda was buried at West Park Cemetery on Sunday.

— Sunday World