Ekurhuleni mayor calls for action in toddler case

Johannesburg - Ekurhuleni mayor Mondli Gungubele on Sunday called on law-enforcement officers to further scalp the mine dump in Reiger Park where the body of a toddler was found.

"What is of great concern to us as the city is that a 10 year-old was found dead in the same spot last year and we call for the law enforcement agencies to take a particular interest in that mine dump to put this evil practice to halt," Gungubele said in a statement.

Gauteng police were on Sunday trying to identify the partially burnt body the child. It was not known yet if it was the body of Cuburne Lavone van Wyk, who disappeared on 6 August while playing outside with siblings.

"We are still busy with the process of identifying the body," said Colonel Noxolo Kweza.

She said the process was likely to be completed sometime during the week.

The body was found on Saturday by a passer-by who informed the police.

At the time, Kweza said police were looking for 25-year-old Katleho Phoku known as "Chicken" who they think could help with the investigation into the boy's disappearance.

Gungubele appealed to the community to help police in finding those responsible for the killing.

He said the city would provide social workers to the family and would assist in the burial of the child.

This was the second incident of crime in the area against children in space of two months.

Four-year-old Taegrin Morris was killed in a botched hijacking in Reiger Park on the East Rand last month. Hijackers who had just forced his family out of their vehicle drove off with him still hanging out of the car, trapped by his seat-belt. The hijackers left the car abandoned several kilometres away with the dead toddler inside.